Buddhism was founded by the teachings of Gautam Buddha. He is the one who is woken up to the reality by understanding life in its deepest way; free from greed, hatred and ignorance. The tree shown in this statue is a large and ancient sacred tree located in Bodh Gaya (Bihar). Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment (bodhi) while meditating underneath this tree.
The image visible on this page shows Buddha sitting on a thick, two layered, carved plinth, symbolic of his status as the ruler of religious realms. He sits in a meditation pose with left hand kept at the juncture of his legs, holding a pot and right hand is held high in gyana Mudra and the palm facing forward. He wears a heavy bordered robe perfectly draped over his body; long earlobes symbolize his ability to listen all the sufferings of the world and three carved lines on the neck represent his deep and soulful voice. Hairs are metaphoric of human’s ignorance and illusion, thus Buddha who is said to have cut his earlier long and curly hair, shows his way of getting rid of these negative aspects and keep the body and mind clean to reach the aim of true understanding.
The tree at the corner of the pedestal having life like striations, with its leaves and branches extending over Buddha’s head is famously known as the tree of enlightenment or the bodhi tree. It is said that its leaves are in the shape of a heart, as also depicted in the statue, symbolizing love. Two birds can be seen sitting on top of the tree enhancing its natural essence.