A carved sand stone Buddha foot imprint, of the historical Buddha Shakyamuni.
Burma, date early 18th Century.
Height 175 cm, width 90 cm, depth 12 cm
The size and distinctness of this footprint are symbolic of the permanence with which the Buddha, the "Enlightened One", left an important part of his teaching to the faithful: 108 emblems arranged in a grid cover the sole of the imprint. With a size of 175 cm, the lotus-shaped stone slab is a monumental appearance. In the Indian-influenced cultural area, the trace or imprint of Buddha's foot has been an important symbol since ancient times, representative of Buddha himself.
In his footprint, Buddha remains present to the faithful as in a relic, while otherwise he has entered nirvana, "salvation". In this he can no longer be invoked. A similar iconography of the footprint remaining behind is also found in medieval Christian art in the depiction of the Ascension of Christ. The type of the footprint originated at a time when one did not represent Buddha yet pictorially as a person, but only representatively by symbols. Although Buddhism has died out in its country of origin, India, even today the Buddha's footprint is venerated by believers in the countries of southern Buddhism.
Such a large stone slab, like this specimen, was certainly placed in its own shrine in a temple.