Maitreya

SA391 Maitreya

Maitreya, the future Buddha, is identified by Nagakesara flower, a stupa on his diadem, Antelope pelt on his left shoulder, pot with water and his mudra. The cognizance seems to vary by time, place of origin and the sub-sect. In this case, the identification is based on the Nagakesara flowers, his right-hand mudra and the stupa on his diadem. The identification of the Vigraha as Maitreya is strengthened by the two examples below.

One of our left is from the book Medieval Sculpture From Eastern India page 69, item 39. The second one is from the book by Bronzes from Achutrajpur by Debala Mitra, page 84 for description and figure 75.

 

In our example, Maitreya is sitting in Rajalalitasana (posture of royal ease) on a single SA391 Maitreya backlevel lotus platform. His left hand is holding Nagakesara vine. His right hand is in Vitarka mudra, espousing doctrine. There is Nagakesara vine on his right, balancing the bronze.

Maitreya is wearing Upavita and his ornamentation is complete (Waist belt, anklets, earrings and necklace). His lower garment appears to be a full-length one.

Maitreya Vigraha with similar iconography is found in Nepal as well.

This vigraha is only 6 cm in height and it is from Bengal/Bihar region. Based on the above examples and the surface conditions, this vigraha may be dated to the twelfth century.

 

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