Reclining Buddha

Aluvihara, Sri Lanka

The ancient monastery of Aluvihara, located about 20km (12mi) north of Kandy, is the site where, in the first century BC, the Theravada Buddhist scriptures (Tripitaka) were first set down in writing. In spite of Aluvihara's historical importance, the paintings and sculptures that one sees in its cave-temples today are modern.

In this reclining Buddha, there is a sweetness of expression and humanized appearance that encourages bhakti (devotion) by gently drawing the worshiper into the Buddha's ambience. The figure is draped in a gilt-cloth robe and surrounded by offerings.