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Reclining Buddha at Gal Vihara

Frozen Memories

Reclining Buddha @ Gal Vihara Reclining Buddha @ Gal Vihara

The final Buddha image at Gal Vihara is the one known as the reclining Buddha. The bottom of the Buddha’s feet are carved with a lotus. Unfortunately, because of the barricades and the lack of lighting, I was not able to make out the lotus.

To me, this Buddha seemed to be depicted in restful sleep. However, I learned there are clues indicating that this Buddha is not merely sleeping. One clue is that the Buddha is not actually resting his head on his hand. The hand is forward of the head. The second clue is that the feet are offset. Normally the Buddha’s feet are shown as perfectly aligned. These clues have specific meanings in the Buddhist tradition.

If not sleeping then what? The word capturing this word is parinirvana and there is no single English translation for this word. This statue is of the Buddha…

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