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Scenes from the life of the Buddha
late 2nd-early 3rd century

Kushan dynasty

H: 67.0 W: 289.8 D: 9.8 cm
Pakistan or Afghanistan

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After meditating for forty days beneath a pipal tree, the Buddha approached the moment of omniscience. Evil demons have failed to distract him, and he calmly touches the earth goddess to witness his attainment of enlightenment. His right hand, lowered in the earth-touching gesture (bhumisparsha mudra), signals that moment. The Buddha is depicted with the characteristic forehead mole (urna) and cranial bump (ushnisha) that symbolize his immense spiritual capacity.