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The Sultanganj Buddha - Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

The Sultanganj Buddha is probably the largest known complete Indian bronze Buddha sculpture.

The Sultanganj Buddha - Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

It’s a reminder to us of the extraordinary skills of the sculptors and metal craftsmen in ancient India.

The Sultanganj Buddha as the title implies was found in the North Indian town of Sultanganj in the Bhagalpur district of Bihar State during excavations by EB Harris, a railway engineer, during railway construction in 1862, by the East India Company.

The Sultanganj Buddha - Birmingham Museum and Art GalleryThe Sultanganj Buddha was visited by around 30,000 local people in the first week, but its excavation was reported around the world and Samuel Thornton, a Birmingham MP lobbied for it to come to the city even funding funded its removal and transport. The Sultanganj Buddha was almost 'scooped' by the curators of the British Museum but Birmingham moved fastest!

The statue is dated by archaelogists at between 500 to 700 AD. It is 2.3m high and 1m wide, and was made using the lost wax Technique. It is now part of the collection of the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.

The right hand is raised in Abhaya Mudra - Absence of Fear (a gesture of reassurance or protection) while the left hand, with palm outward and held downwards indicates the granting of a favour


The Sultanganj Buddha - Birmingham Museum and Art GalleryThe Sultanganj Buddha was buried by monks for safe-keeping some 700 years after it was cast.

The first object to enter Birmingham city’s museum collections, it has inspired generations of Birmingham people.

The statue now plays a new role in the museum’s work with Buddhist communities in the city.

Text adapted from 'Sultanganj Buddha' - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Buddhist Flag
First hoisted in 1885 in Sri Lanka, is a symbol of faith and peace used throughout the world to represent the Buddhist faith.

Buddhist Flag Picture - Buddhist Flag Colours - The Buddhist Flag Sri Lanka 1885

Buddhist Flag Meanings
Blue: Universal Compassion
Yellow: The Middle Path
Red: Blessings
White: Purity and Liberation
Orange: Wisdom


The Dharma Wheel

Spokes of the Dharmachakra - "The Dharma Wheel" Meaning - The Dharma Wheel Symbol - The Dharma Wheel Image - 8 spokes representing the Noble Eightfold Path (Ariya magga)

In Buddhism—according to the Pali Canon, Vinayapitaka, Khandhaka, Mahavagga, the number of spokes of the Dharmachakra represent various meanings:

8 spokes representing the Noble Eightfold Path (Ariya magga).
12 spokes representing the Twelve Laws of Dependent Origination (Paticcasamuppada).
24 spokes representing the Twelve Laws of Dependent Origination and the Twelve Laws of Dependent Termination (Paticcasamuppada).
31 spokes representing 31 realms of existence (11 realms of desire, 16 realms of form and 4 realms of formlessness).

Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo is a Japanese Buddhist chant based upon the Lotus Sutra. Nichiren Daishonin (Feb 16, 1222 – Oct 13, 1282) a Buddhist monk who lived during the Kamakura period (1185–1333) in Japan. Nichiren taught devotion to the Lotus Sutra, entitled Myōhō-Renge-Kyō in Japanese, as the exclusive means to attain enlightenment and the chanting of Nam-Myōhō-Renge-Kyō as the essential practice of the teaching. Various schools with diverging interpretations of Nichiren's teachings comprise Nichiren Buddhism.
Nam - To devote one's life
Myoho - Myo is the mystic nature of life and Ho, its manifestation
Renge - "Lotus Flower"; which symolises the ballance of cause and effect
Kyo - Sutra, the voice or teachings of Buddha (The sound or vibration that connects everything in the ubiverse)

As the Buddha had never claimed to be a god, it is evident that he never prescribed the form of worship that was to be rendered to him. A legend, however, attributes to him the institution of this form of worship

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