Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fasting Buddha

If one is visiting Lahore Museum, he would be amazed to find a masterpiece artifact, known as the Fasting Buddha. The skeleton like statue of Buddha is a priceless piece of art and craft as anyone who crafted it had the aesthetics and the finest of art living inside him. 

The anonymous artist who was behind this masterpiece has portrayed the fasting days of once a handsome prince Siddharatha who in search of truth and his creator underwent such a mental concentration that what remained of him was just bones, covered by a thin sheet of skin. It was from here that he rose to be an immortal figure of Buddha (or the Enlightened One).

The genesis of Buddhism take their roots from the areas that are now in Pakistan. It was during the 2nd century B.C. that Buddhism was adopted as the state religion which flourished and prevailed here for over 1000 years, starting from 2nd century B.C. till 10th century A.D. This was the time when Taxila (half an hour drive from Islamabad), Swat and Charsaddah became three important centres for culture, trade and learning. 

Taxila abounds in a large number of monasteries and stupas in Gandhara form of art, specially at the archaeological sites of Sirkap and Sirsukh both in Taxila. And from here the Gandhara Art spread all over the world. Oe can find beautiful statues and other artefacts that abound museums in many a country. However none matches the uniqueness of the Fasting Buddha.

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Shirazi said...

I have seen this in Lahore as well as in Taxila museums. It is wonderful piece of art that has become a known icon.

Unknown said...

Yes it represents the time when Buddha practiced extreme forms of Hindu Asceticism, then he realized that extremism was wrong & the middle way was the path to enlightenment.