Think of yourself, and Know thyself

Statue of thinking Bodhisattva, sitting cross-legged. Korean national treasure No.78

An ancient Greek philosopher said ” Know thyself”, in Chinese confucious, said same words, “Know thyself”. Perhaps, it is one of the most difficult realizations of lives of ourselves ‘Know yourself and ourselves.’ Today, how about you think about yourself seating cross legged? It must be helpful to understand and realized who you are and who we are in this artistic posture.

The statue of thinking Bodhisattava, (반가사유상,半跏思惟像) is a Bodhisattva Buddhist statue, sitting on the top of Yonhwadae, (연화대, A lotus pedestal) meditating on the face with a right hand in a half-body position, cross-legged.

Many appear in the Kannon Bodhisattva or Miroku Bodhisattva. Origin is derived from the posture or free posture of restrained persons, not Buddha’s main body expressed in India’s Sanchi gate or part of sculpture. Afterwards, until the development of Buddhist style, the Buddhist monastery had undergone a transitional process that appeared in the Buddhist sculpture Buddha at the North Wei in the Yunggang Temple in China. It was completed in the 6th century as an Banga(seating cross-legged)
separately, and it was introduced into the Three Kingdoms period, and from the 7th century on, it can be said that its form was refined and developed mainly in Shilla. This form again crossed over to Japan and became the basis of the Asuka period Buddha posture. And the gold medal of the National Museum of Korea is the representative example.

Pensive Bodhisattva statue is a combination of thinking Buddhist and seating cross legged (Buddhist statue). The left leg is lowered and the right leg is placed on the left leg. A little leaning face with his right hand on his cheek, expressing his thoughtfulness. It is made of gold, wood, stone, and earth, and is placed in the temple hall. It is the origin of the Buddha statue in India and the Buddhist image of Buddha. It entered the Korean peninsula during the Three Kingdoms period and developed in Silla from the 7th century. This style was brought to Japan.

At present, there are about 38 styles of the Pensive Bodhisattva and about 24 styles made of gold. Among them, some statues made by gold or bronze were appointed the National Treasure of Korea, No. 78, 83, 118, 331. The National Treasure No. 78, which was collected at the National Museum of Korea, is carved into a shape of 83.2cm, with a gorgeous sculpture and a decorative strip, although it is slightly more monotonous but delicately carved. It is presumed that it has been made in Korea that the wooden statue of seating crossed legged in Japan’s Kwangyangsa templ. It is very similar to the Korea’s.

The fact that seating cross legged is made of wood, gold, stone, or terracota, and the fact that it was laid in the Buddhist temple is the same as other Buddhist statues, but it is because of two big characteristics. The first can be found in his chair, sitting on a round chair, with one right foot raised and placed on the other leg. The second point is that the right hand is lifted and the tip of the hand is put on the chin, and it is deeply thought-locked. The first characteristic is called half-style, and the second characteristic is called thinking style, so they are combined and called half-price style. The name of this Buddha is presumed to be Maitreya Bodhisattva, so when you call it in more detail, it is called “Maitreya Bodhisattva Bazaar”, which is usually shortly called “seating cross legged” or “thinking Buddhist image.

Left: Korean golden statue 6C, Right: Japanese wooden statue 7C


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