early-mid 20th century.
Measures: 11” tall x 7” wide x 4” deep. 3.3 kilograms.
Touching the Earth
The moment of enlightenment for Shakyamuni Buddha is symbolized in Bhūmisparśa Mudra. In touching the earth the Tathagata liberates himself from suffering, desire and the circle of samsara.
Bhumisparsha mudra also signifies the union of skillful means or Upaya which is well represented by the right hand touching the earth, and wisdom or Prajna, which is represented by the left hand with its palm facing upward on the lap in the meditation position. As the story tells about the earth being the witness of the Buddha’s enlightenment, the Bhumisparshamudra depicts the Buddha’s firm belief and effort while pursuing the path of enlightenment. In Buddhism, it is believed that the Bhumisparsha mudra helps us to bring about the transformation from rage and anger to wisdom.
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