Antique Khmer Style Mounted Bronze Maitreya Buddha Statue - 26cm/10"
Measures (Height) 26cm/10"
A wonderful image of a bronze Buddha Maitreya statue in the pre-Angkor early eight century style.
Maitreya is the Buddha of the Future, destined to become the next mortal buddha after Shakyamuni. The Buddha is identified as Maitreya by the tiny Stupa set in the front of the jatamukuta (crown of hair).
This image is based on a group of sculptures that are often referred to as being of “Prakhon Chai” style, indicating that they originate from the Kingdom of Chanasa in Khorat, a mountainous region bordering eastern Thailand and Cambodia.
Buddhism spread over an enormous geographical area and was adopted by a diverse group of people. Here the religion was modified it to suit their specific religious needs. Isolated communities evolved unorthodox beliefs that combined the faith with their existing, pre-Buddhist traditions. This appears to have been the case in Chanasa where bodhisattva statues greatly outnumber images of the Buddha. This implies that they may have been the focus of worship.
The beliefs that flourished in 7th to 9th century Chanasa seem to have been extremely localised as the statues found there are quite unlike any others. In particular, Maitreya, the Buddha of the Future and Avalokiteshvara, the embodiment of compassion, are represented in the bronze images of Prakon Chai.
Here Buddha has an elaborately arranged chignon of matted locks, almost crown-like. His face with slight smile, inlaid eyes, broad nose, elongated earlobes, and hair drawn into an intricate jatamakuta with three tiers of looped curls centered by a stupa.
The image is mounted on a wood base.
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Reincarnation in Buddhism is not a mere continuation of existence but an intricate interplay of karma, consciousness, and the quest for enlightenment.
The cycle of Samsara challenges individuals to confront their actions, cultivate virtue, and strive for liberation from the perpetual cycle of birth and death.