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Ref ID: 23678
Ref Type: Book Section
Authors: Paul, Debjani
Title: A remarkable Ashtamahasthana stele from Thailand
Date: 2008
Source: From <i>Homo erectus</i> to the living traditions
Place of Publication: Chiang Mai
Publisher: European Association of Southeast Asian Archaeologists
Notes: Choice of Papers from the 11th International Conference of the European Association of Southeast Asian Archaeologists, Bougon, 25th-29th September 2006.
Abstract: This paper focuses on an inscribed stone image representing the eight most important episodes from the life of the Buddha Śakyamuni. The stele was found along with a number of Buddhist images and some other precious objects in the crypt of the prang of Wat Rājapurăna, Ayudhyā. The temple was founded in 1424 A.D., during the time of king Parama Rājādhirăja II (1424-1448 A.D.), third son of king Indrarăja (1409-1424) to deposit the ashes of his two deceased brothers. A number of sculptures representing the eight incidents from the life of the Buddha have been found from several countries of South and Southeast Asia – Burma for example. But this particular one from Thailand is quite exceptional because in the scene of the Great Demise depicted above the central image of the Buddha, the reclining statue of Śăkyamuni is attended upon by a number of standing figures representing the Buddhas of the past. As far as the existing examples are concerned, this is rarely met with in any other representation of the episode in the art of Southeast Asia. My endeavour is to find out the probable reason behind the depiction of the other Buddhas in the scene of the Great Demise. A careful study of the literary evidence might throw some light on this rather unusual phenomenon. Moreover, a stylistic analysis of the sculpture as well as a comparative study of the inscription written on the back of the stele may supply valuable information on the probable date and provenance of this unique image.
Date Created: 10/7/2008
Editors: Pautreau, Jean-Pierre
Coupey, Anne-Sophie
Zeitoun, Valéry
Rambault, Emma
Page Start: 207
Page End: 213