Samadhi Statue, Anuradhapura

#11 of 39 in Things to do in Anuradhapura
Monument · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
The Samadhi Buddha is a famous statue situated at Mahamevnāwa Park in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. The Buddha is depicted in the position of the Dhyana Mudra, the posture of meditation associated with his first Enlightenment. This statue is 7 feet 3 inches in height and carved from dolomite marble. It was found in 1886 at Mahamevnāwa Park. It is similar to the Toluvila statue from the same period. It is similar to Gupta period Buddha images, it is believed that originally the image was gilded and had inlaid eyes made of precious gems. It is likely that it was one of the four statues around a sacred Bodhi tree shrine. This is the only one that has survived largely intact.

Whether the Buddha's Enlightenment was the experience technically called samadhi, or some other phenomenon, may depend upon the philosophical allegiance of the believer. In the Dhyana Mudra the Buddha sits cross-legged with his upturned palms placed one over the other on his lap. This position is universally known throughout the Buddhist world, and this statue is therefore one of the most typical pieces of Buddhist sculpture. It is not to be confused with the very similar "Earth-Touching Mudra," which depicts the simple action the Buddha took to fend off the illusions projected by Mara, who was desperate to prevent the Buddha from realizing that his, Mara's, projections, and with them the entire world, are an illusion.

The statue is dated to about 4th-6th century and is regarded as one of the finest Buddha statues in Sri Lanka. A replica, carved out of white teak, was gifted to India's Prime Minister Modi on his state visit to Sri Lanka.
It is said that Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime minister, contemplated using a photo of this statue while in Dehradun prison. After he became the Prime Minister of India, he visited Anuradhapura to see the actual statue.

A 25-foot replica of the Anuradhapur Samadhi Buddha was created by a monk sculptor, the Venerable Embulawitiya Medhananda Thero, at the New Jersey Buddhist Vihara & Meditation Center (NJBV) in Franklin Township in New Jersey in USA. It has been declared a Cultural Landmark by the Township Council.

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  • Samadhi refers to Buddha’s enlightenment which is depicted by the statue with the sitting position of meditation. The statue is located in the Mahamevnawa Park in between the Twin Ponds and...  more »
  • At any Buddhist site you are going to see many depictions of the Buddha. Perhaps it was the colour [ivory with hints of greenish yellow] that caught my eye. It is the meditation pose. It is just...  more »
  • Very popular for ancient arts on statue creativity. Located on a really quiet place, under the shade of trees. Become bit crouded on weekends and special holidays.
  • You must visit this place. When you are looking at the Lord Buddha in an side, you can see the Lord Buddha is smiling and when you are looking at Lord Buddha in another side you can't see it.

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