A Set of Buddha and four monks, Burma 19th Century
|Size||Height: 65-95 cm|
Buddha and four Monks, Burma, 19th Century, bronze with traces of gold and pigments
Exhibited and Published in “The art of compassion” 2018 P12.
The central figure of the Buddha is seen walking on his begging round. Traditionally, Buddhist monks are required to live only on what they are given, which serves to reflect how well they are regarded in society. The begging bowl is held silently by both the Buddha and his attendant monks, for no words are to be spoken while on the begging round, nor thanks given for donations, as the merit of giving is considered to be sufficient. They wait momentarily outside a layperson’s home for a few moments; if nothing is forthcoming, they will move on silently. The Buddha’s right hand is held in the Abhaya gesture, which is one of blessing and reassurance.
The monastic begging round is still a common practice in South East Asia, but in other parts where the climate is too hostile, such as Tibet, Mongolia and northern China, it was never a part of the Buddhist tradition. Instead, offerings were made directly to the monastery.