9th-12th c Japanese Heian (Late) Sculpture
(794 - 1185)
Lacquer & gold on Wood
San Francisco. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
While the style of the various Buddhas enable us to determine the general region where they were made, the gestures the figures make are extremely important for understanding their meaning. The mudras, the symbolic gestures of the hands, are considered to be physical expressions of different states of being. The various mudras are used during meditation to release these energies.
This is the most common mudra, the gesture of mediation, symbolizing the path toward enlightenment. Both hands are in the lap, the right above the left, palms upward, fingers extended and thumbs touching. This mudra, known as the "Dhyana " mudra, was the one used by the Buddha as he sat under the tree before his Enlightenment. It represents the perfect balance of thought, rest of the senses and tranquillity. This pose is most often assumed by monks when they meditate.
HEIAN | Amida Nyorai. | 894-1185 | Japanese | Heian (Late)