This Buddha, sculpted in the 19th century Laotian style, depicts a crucial moment in the ultimate life of the Buddha Sakyamuni, who lived among men in the 6th century B.C..
After deliberately leaving the royal palace of his father, and parting from his wife and son, Prince Siddhartha retired to the forest to meditate on the tragedy, pain and unhappiness of the human condition, and to seek a remedy.
His reflections led him to understand the basic causes of human suffering, as well as the reason behind the migration of the human soul through numerous incarnations both in the animal world and in social strata. All that remained was for him to structure his reasoning before making it accessible to men, and to demonstrate that desire triggers off a chain of causalities which keep the cycle of renaissance revolving indefinitely.
It was at this crucial point that he sat under the tree of wisdom to meditate. But the fearsome god Kama or "Love, also called Mara or "Death", determined to protect his empire, immediately attacked him with arms.
Thanks to his impassive attitude and the unquestionable value of his concept, the Buddha Sakyamuni won the first confrontation with the one that can be considered to be the Devil. As proof of his supremacy, he called upon the Earth to be a witness, stretching his right hand towards it. This is the gesture reproduced here, the bhoumicpar-shamoudra (bhoumi = earth, moudra = gesture).
Reproduction in resin with patina
Height: 24 cm.
Width: 17.5 cm.
Depth: 12 cm
Period: XIXth century, art of Vietnam
Museum: Paris - Museum of Asian Arts-Guimet