Description Before achieving enlightenment – a state of freedom from desire and the suffering it causes – the meditating Buddha was assaulted by the forces of Mara, a demon who personifies both death and the attachments that trap living beings in a cycle of worldly suffering. Prevailing over Mara, the Buddha touched the earth with his right hand so that she would witness his moment of victory–and his enlightenment. Gazing downward with half-closed eyes inlaid with shell and lacquer and a serene smile originally painted red, this Buddha at once embodies a calm equilibrium and a radiant energy, communicated by the flame-like rays that emerge from his head and in the shining gold that once covered his entire body. His physical strength is indicated by his broad chest filled with the sacred breath of life known as prana.
- Unearthly Elegance: Buddhist Art from the Griswold Collection. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1995.
Provenance Acquired by Luang Ban. Acquired by Alexander B. Griswold, Monkton, Maryland, 1949 ; by bequest to Walters Art Museum, 1992.  Presented to the Breezewood Foundation, December 1964, inv. no. 628
Credit Bequest of A. B. Griswold, 1992
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