Posted on: 21 May 2016

Digital Rare Book:
Dialogues of the Buddha
By T. W. Rhys Davids (1843-1922)
Published by Humphrey Milford, London - 1921

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Siddhartha at the Bodhi Tree, 100s-200s

India, Gandhara, 2nd-3rd century

The tree under which the Buddha reached enlightenment marks the center of the composition. It had been under worship by local villagers, for it was known to be the residence of a nature divinity, who here emerges from the tree and altar to praise the Buddha. The altar itself is covered with kusha grass used in the context of sacrificial offerings. At the base of the altar, the earth goddess has risen from the ground and kneels before him in reverence.

Text and image credit: The Cleveland Museum of Art

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It is a beautiful composition around the Boddhi tree. It is surprising to see how the people at the Gandhara period were represented heafty and rather solid... the stone looks to be of excellent grain and the greek influence in the draped garment is really pleasant.