Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Badulla Preaching Buddha Statue, Colombo National Museum

Badulla Preaching Buddha Statue, Colombo National Museum
The Badulla Preaching Buddha Statue was discovered from Badulla in Sri Lanka and is currently on display in the Colombo National Museum. This statue is considered as a rare piece of work found from Sri Lanka.

This hollow cast bronze statue of Buddha is 54.5 cm height and has been dated by scholars to the about 6th century A.D. (Coomaraswamy, 1914; Prematilaka & Hewage, 2018; Rambukwella, 2014). It was presented to the museum by G. F. K. Horsfall (Coomaraswamy, 1914).  

Statue
The Buddha statue, seated in Virasana posture, shows an attitude of preaching/teaching Dhamma. The slightly raised right hand depicts the Vitarka Mudra [(argumentation gesture) Wikramagamage, 1990]. While holding the gathered pleats of the robe, the left hand is in the pose of Katakahastha (Prematilaka & Hewage, 2018). The robe is transparent and shown attached to the body by raised ridges. The folds of the robe are clear and distinct. The robe covers the left shoulder while leaving the right shoulder bare. The head is covered with snail-shell like curled hair locks and the Usnisha is fairly shown. The perforation on the head may be had used to attache the Siraspatha [(the flame of knowledge) Wikramagamage, 1990]. The upright torso and the wide open eyes indicate Buddha's alertness while preaching.

References
1) Coomaraswamy, A., 1914. Bronzes from Ceylon, chiefly in the Colombo Museum. Series A. No. 1. Memoirs of the Colombo Museum/Ed. J. Pearson. Colombo: Horace Hart, Colombo. p.20.
2)  Prematilaka, L., Hewage, R., 2018. A guide to the National Museum, Colombo: Department of National Museum. ISBN: 978-955-578-035-3. p.15.
3) Rambukwella, M.W.C.N.K., 2014. Heritage representation in culturally diverse societies: a case study of the Colombo National Museum in Sri Lanka (Doctoral dissertation, School of Museum Studies). p.330.
4) Wikramagamage, C., 1990. [Wijesekara, N. (Editor in chief)] Section II: 500-100 A.D. Archaeological Department Centenary (1890-1990): Commemorative Series: Vol. IV: Sculpture. p.51.

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This page was last updated on 20 December 2020
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