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HOME : Asian Art : Gandharan Artefacts : Gupta Stone Buddha
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Gupta Stone Buddha - DB.015
Origin: India
Circa: 320 AD to 550 AD
Dimensions: 11.5" (29.2cm) high
Collection: Asian Art
Medium: Stone

Location: United States
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The empire’s shadowy beginnings are generally agreed to have started with the reign of Sri- Gupta in around 250 AD, whose people may have come from the Bengal area. By the 4th century there were various small Gupta kingdoms scattered around the Magadha area. The early rulers of the Gupta Empire – and their followers – were firm believers in Hinduism, but were tolerant of other religions and permitted the construction of temples and shrines to the Buddhist faith. Interestingly, the Hindu cults of Saivism and Vaisnavism shared many characteristics of Buddhism, to the extent that Buddha was eventually accepted as an alter-ego of Vishnu. Gupta Buddhism was based primarily around the Hinayana and Mahayana sects, with increasing emphasis on the latter towards the end of the Gupta dynasty. The iconography of the movement captured the attention of a large retinue of followers, who were particularly taken with the Mahayana Bodhisattvas, namely Manjusri, Avalokitesvara and the goddess Prajnaparamita. Worship of these images and that of the Adi and Amitanbha Buddhas became increasingly popular. - (DB.015)


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