Travelling Shrine with Stupa and Arhats
Artist/maker unknown, Tibetan
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The central figure of the shrine, Shakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism, makes the “earth-touching” gesture with his right hand, calling the earth to witness his enlightenment, while his left hand rests in his lap in the gesture of meditation, holding a begging bowl. Surrounding Shakyamuni are his disciples, the arhats, as well as his principal students, Shariputra and Maudgalyayana, both standing next to him holding a bowl and a mendicant’s staff. The interiors of the shrine doors depict armor-clad protectors of the four cardinal directions, while the exterior is decorated with a stupa, a symbol of the Buddha’s enlightened mind.