Jan 14, 2010

Worshippers Giving Offerings to the Bodhi Tree

Worshippers Giving Offerings to the Bodhi Tree

AD 100s


Overall: 80 x 57.1 cm (31 1/2 x 22 1/2 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1970.43


The square railing surrounding the base of the trunk is the marker of a sacred tree. This tree has the distinctive heart-shaped leaves of the Bodhi tree (ficus religiosa), which is the type of tree under which the Buddha reached enlightenment. Each of the the worshippers holds a narrow-necked pot with lotus flowers emerging from the mouth. The lotus flowers are a symbol for water, so these figures are pouring offerings of pure water to the sacred tree.

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