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Korean Buddha Statue

Buddha statues represent idealized images of the historic person Siddharta Gautama, the founder of Buddhism who lived around 500 B.C. in Northern India. Buddhism came from China to Korea and had its first golden age in the 6th century A.D.

The figure is presented as Buddha Amithaba, a tradition of Buddhism where belief in the all-goodness of the transcendent Buddha (Amithaba) and the expectation of rebirth in the "Pure Land" is of central importance.

The "Pure Land" is a peaceful, paradisiacal world where everything is designed to alleviate getting to enlightenment and Nirvana.

A Buddha statue is not crafted as a decorative work of art but is used for teaching and even enlightenment of the viewer. Commissioning a Buddha statue is recognized as a good deed, which has a positive effect on the next incarnation.

These figures also serve as a reliquary caskets; in the interior of the figure is a cavity which holds paper slips with "Buddha souls", people who are unified with Buddha.

Die Buddha figure made of gilt wood, which surely stood in a temple, is attributable to the end of Goryeo dynasty or the beginning of Joseon dynasty (around 1400 A.D.)

Buddha sits in the lotus position, a sitting posture with legs crossed, used for meditation in Eastern religions. The statue shows some of the characteristics in which the spiritually awakened are presented: his body has a golden glow, his ears are long, the hair is curled and his eyes are half closed in state of meditation.

The glass bead on his forehead between the eyes represents the Third Eye, the Buddhist symbol for spiritual awakening (enlightenment) and wisdom. The bead is not original; it is possible that a valuable gem, which was placed there instead, was removed.

Additionally, the middle finger of the left hand has broken off, the hand is loose.