GAUTAMA BUDDHA, 2008
pastel and ink on paper
41 x 30 inches (frame)
Siddhartha Gautama was born into the warrior caste (kshatriya varna) in Lumbini (Nepal) in the 6th century BC. He is often referred to as Shakyamuni, sage of the Shakya clan. He is most famous for his statement of the four noble truths and the eightfold path.
As is typical for depictions of him, he is shown wearing plain dress with no adornments, symbolizing his renunciation of worldly ambition. Gautama is shown sitting on a lotus in meditation pose. His hair is blue-black with a protuberance at the crown (ushnisha), and he has very long ears. His hands are stained with henna.
He is depicted at the moment of his enlightenment in Bodhgaya, with his right hand touching the earth (bhumisparsha mudra), and his left hand palm up in the meditation mudra, when he overcame the demons of Mara. As he touched the earth, he called the earth goddess to witness his enlightenment.
His mantra is: TATYATA OM MUNI MUNI MAHA MUNI SHAKYAMUNIYA SVAHA