Shakyamuni is shown seated in the half-lotus position upon the coils of Muchalinda, a canopy of seven fierce serpents rises up behind the Buddha. While Muchalinda is present in a number of accounts of the Buddha's life, this sculpture corresponds with an episode following Shakyamuni's attainment of nirvana. Residing in the bliss of enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, the Buddha was threatened by a violent storm. Stirring from his abode at the base of the tree, Muchalinda coiled himself around Shakyamuni for seven days to shield him from the raging elements of the storm. Once the storm had passed, the serpent king assumed his human form, bowed before Lord Buddha and returned to his palace. Thereafter, Muchalinda was considered the Buddha's protector and was designated by the Enlightened One as the guardian of mantras and sacred texts.
The art of wood sculpture goes back to the glorious epoch of the Khmer empire and the monumental constructions that gave rise to the Angkor temples. Our artisans have inherited patience and meticulousness from their ancestors in the trade. They have learned to capture the movements used in olden times and master the traditional tools in order adapt to their personal lines of work.
This wood sculpture is a one of a kind statue, hand carved by the artists of Cambodia.
About Wood Lacquering & Gilding: The artisans begin this process by sizing the wood, before applying colors made with natural pigments. The pieces can be adorned with copper or gold leaf gilding. Pieces that are glossy are sanded and polished in order to give them their glossy finish. Some pieces may be lacquered, smoothed and then varnished.