Rare Burmese Andagu Stone Reclining Buddha
AGE: – Undetermined – Between 13th – 15th Century
CONSTRUCTION: -Dolomite/pyrophyllite (Andagu Stone)
HEIGHT: – 9cm
WEIGHT: -1000 gm
Rare Burmese Andagu Stone Reclining Buddha depicting the Buddha in pari-nirvana (dying), with eight praying disciples underneath the Buddha, and two of his chief disciples, Moggallana and Upatissa also referred to as Sariputta, kneeling in prayer on either end.
The couch on which the Buddha is lying, is decorated with medallions on each end, with a single medallion decorating his pillow, and two larger medallions underneath. Lotus petals decorate the back of the couch and again across the bottom of the couch with a stupa-like structure in the centre. The Buddha in pari-nirvana is in the Pagan style as are the attendants underneath, all wearing medallion-style earrings and a simple monk’s robe.
These small andagu stone pieces were thought to be carried by pilgrims or placed in relic chambers in shrines or Stupas.
According to Claudine Bautze-Picron’s paper “New Documents of Burmese Sculpture: Unpublished ‘Andagu’ Images“, those Burmese Andagu Stone Buddhist Carving that has been found are in relatively good condition possibly because of the protection the stupa offered.
The two chief disciples (seen at either end of the reclining Buddha), Moggallana and Upatissa (Sariputta) were both born on the same day in two different villages near to each other. They renounced the world and became disciples of a religious teacher known as Sanjaya Belatthiputta, dissatisfied with their teacher they decided to part; each of them went on their own search for truth, but they made a promise to each other that once they found it they would tell the other.
Sariputta one day came across a monk begging for food, he was impressed by the monk’s calm demeanor and he asked him who his teacher was, His answer was “I have abandoned secular life to follow the great enlightened teacher who came from the land of the Shakyas, I am called Assaji. On hearing his reply Sariputta set out to find this great teacher. Hence, Moggallana and Sariputta were destined to become the devoted and most enlightened followers of the Historical Buddha.
All references to these types of andagu stone sculptures that we have come across date back to the 11th, 12th, and 13th Centuries.