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Buddha Approaching the Bodhi Tree

Buddha Approaching the Bodhi Tree, 2nd-3rd century

Pakistan: Ancient Gandhara, 100-299
16-1/2 x 18-1/2 x 3-1/4 in. (41.9 x 44 x 8.3 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
© The Norton Simon Foundation

On view

This panel depicts the Buddha’s selection of the tree under which he will meditate and ultimately achieve enlightenment. After approaching but declining a mango tree, the Buddha chooses the fig tree (Ficus religiosa). The fig tree became known as the bodhi tree because the Buddha reached enlightenment (bodhi) after meditating beneath one such tree for 49 days. A handsome couple stands opposite the Buddha, gesturing him towards the grass covered seat beneath the bodhi tree.

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