Buddha in the Attitude of the Victory over Mara

Illustration

James Blake Wiener
by
published on 16 January 2018

This sculpture represents the Buddha on the verge of enlightenment responding to the challenge of the demon Mara. Mara, who profits from chaos and suffering in the world, questioned the Buddha's right to become enlightened. Disturbed from his meditation, the Buddha responded by reaching out this right hand to touch the earth with his fingertips, calling upon the Earth to be his witness. The Earth goddess rose up and wrung her hair, unleashing a flood that washed Mara and his demon army away. This sculpture is made of Chlorite and dates from the 10-11th century CE. It was likely made in West Bengal or Bihar, India during the Pala period (730–1197 CE). (Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University, Stanford, California)



About the Author

James Blake Wiener
James is a writer and former Professor of History. He holds an MA in World History with a particular interest in cross-cultural exchange and world history. He is a co-founder of Ancient History Encyclopedia and its Communications Director.

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