Major Events of the Buddha’s Life

12th century

Rubin Museum of Art

Rubin Museum of Art
New York, United States

The image of the Buddha at the center of this stele is seated under a tree and is shown touching the earth, a reference to the moment of his enlightenment without showing any narrative elements. This figure, together with the six buddhas to its sides, represents the seven weeks the Buddha spent meditating in Bodhgaya, India. The scenes on the stele’s periphery are of the Buddha’s life, culminating in his achieving nirvana, the scene at the top. The two snakes supporting the throne and the multiple animals on the base refer to the cosmic nature of the Buddha.


  • Title: Major Events of the Buddha’s Life
  • Date Created: 12th century
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: Rubin Museum of Art, C2005.4.2
  • Medium: Stone with pigments
  • Place of Creation: Northeastern India
  • Exhibition History: Rubin Museum of Art, "Masterworks: Jewels of the Collection" (03/11/11 - 1/9/12), Rubin Museum of Art, "What is It? Himalayan Art" (10/27/05 - 06/14/10)

Additional Items

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more


Google apps