Siddhartha Meditating Below the Jambu Tree

Place Made:
Pakistan: Ancient Gandhara
3rd century
23 x 17 x 5 in. (58.4 x 43.2 x 12.7 cm) 
Credit Line:
The Norton Simon Foundation 
Accession Number:
© The Norton Simon Foundation 
On View

As a young prince, Siddhartha (the given name of Buddha) was taken into the fields to witness a plowing contest. He observed men sweating and exerting themselves as well as birds swooping down from the sky devouring insects. He soon became overwhelmed by these events, as they reflected the misery of human life and the inevitability of death. He left the contest and wandered until he found a wood apple (jambu) tree. He sat beneath this tree and entered into a trance. This event was a precursor to his subsequent meditation under the bodhi tree.

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