Mandalay Period, 19th Century
carved wood lacquered and gilded
Gift of Konrad and Sarah Bekker, 1986
Monk prostrating before the Buddha offering his hair and body to prevent the Buddha’s feet from getting soiled. This monk lying in front of a Buddha is the ascetic Sumedha. He is usually portrayed prostrating before the Buddha Dipankara upon a muddy road. By stepping on Sumedha's body, Dipankara is able to cross the road easily, and he declares that Sumedha will reborn as Shakyamuni Buddha, in an aeon far in the future. You can see the depiction of this episode on the illustration of a Burmese manuscript from c.1800.