Ref. Number: 1030 - SOLD

Country: Burma

Period: Ava

Material: Bronze

Burma , as a country, has a cultural tradition extending back at least fifteen centuries. Over the ages, the Burmese have been indefatigable builders of religious edifices, and statues needed to fill their halls and relic chambers. The making of a religious object was an act of faith, and also constituted a meritorious deed.

Founded in 1364, Ava (Innwa) was the successor state to earlier, even smaller kingdoms based in central Burma: Myinsaing (1298–1312), Pinya (1312–1364), and Sagaing (1315–1364). Ava viewed itself as the rightful heir to the kingdom of Pagan, and in order to reassemble the lost empire, waged continuous wars against Hanthawaddy Pegu and Shan States in the late 14th to early 15th centuries. But by the late 15th century, it was Ava that was under repeated Shan raids.

By the early 16th century, hitherto regional princely states like Prome (Pyay) and Toungoo (Taungoo) broke away from Ava. In 1527, Ava fell to a confederation of Shan States led by Mohnyin, which ruled much of Upper Burma from Ava until 1555.

The Buddha pictured is robed in royal attire suggesting that he is a “Jambupati” Buddha, referring to Buddha’s conversion of the vain King Jambupati. The story tells how the Buddha has Jambupati brought before him having first transformed himself into a mighty king, set in an incomparable palace. Witnessing the Buddha in all his majesty, Jambupati accepted the dharma and became a monk.

Additionally, the  Buddha’s hands assume the Bhumisparsa Mudra gesture: After Buddha overcame the temptations of Mara (god of sensual desires), and achieved enlightenment, he gets to the Maravijaya: The victory over Mara.

Also known as “calling the earth to witness”, this event is symbolized by the Bhumisparsamudra position: Buddha is seated in half-lotus position, the right hand rests on the right knee with fingers pointing downward while the left hand lies in the lap, palm facing upward.

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