Statue of Shakyamuni Buddha

Central Shrine, Candi Mendut

This colossal (10 ft tall) statue of Shakyamuni, located in the interior cella of Candi Mendut, is very special: it is the oldest (c. 800 AD, as mentioned on the previous page), the largest, and the finest statue of the historical Buddha that still remains in its original location in Java. The Buddha is seated in "Western" style, legs apart (cf: Ajanta, Cave 26), displays dharmachakra mudra, and is flanked by two bodhisattvas (following pages). In this temple, modern visitors can still experience something of the awe and majesty that inspired the devotees who first worshiped here, over a thousand years ago.

Note: some scholars identify this statue as Vairocana, instead of Shakyamuni. See, for example, "The Transcendental Buddha Vairochana(?) Seated in Western Fashion," by Martin Lerner, in The Lotus Transcendent: Indian and Southeast Asian Art from the Samuel Eilenberg Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1991, p. 177.