Buddhist monk

Buddhist monk (bhiksu)
16th cent.
Lacquered and gilded bronze ; H.69 cm

In the Pali language, theravada means 'doctrine of the ancients'. It is the form of Buddhism that remains closest to the original Buddhist teachings. From India, it spread mainly to the south. Theravada Buddhism gives monks an important role. They follow a strict code of conduct and depend on the alms of believers for their survival, hence the name bhiksu, meaning 'beggar'. This monk is represented with his hands joined in front of his chest. A gesture of offering in Buddhist iconography, this posture is called anjali-mudra. It is still a gesture of greeting in India and South East Asia.

Discover this masterpiece in the galleries South East Asia of the Museum, on the online museum catalogue Carmentis  and in the book Masterpieces of the Cinquantenaire Museum.