Meditating Buddha

Stupa 1 (east entrance), Sanchi
Gupta, 5th century AD

Life-sized sandstone statues of the meditating Buddha were the final addition to the Great Stupa. A statue was placed at each of the four cardinal points, just inside the entrances. The east statue, shown here, is in somewhat better condition than the others. The postures and mudras of all four Buddhas are identical. Each is flanked by attendants, with vidyadharas above bearing offerings. On the south statue, not shown here, the attendants are Indra and Brahma. On the other three statues, the attendants are bodhisattvas bearing chauris. For example, the bodhisattva in the photo right is Vajrapani, who can be identified by the thunderbolt that he holds at his hip.