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The Reclining Buddha

Date: 28 May 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous


The largest reclining statue of Buddha was to be inaugurated at the International Welfare Mission temple in Bodh Gaya.



  • The reclining Buddha statue depicts the last moments in his life. It represents the phase when he is about to enter Parinirvana.

  • Parinirvana represents the great salvation after the death that can only be attained by an enlightened soul.

  • The last moment of Buddha took place in Kushinagar, a place in eastern UP. The Buddha was 80 years old during his Parinirvana.


Representation in image form

  • Parinirvana shows The Buddha lying on his right side, with his head rested on his elbow or a form of pillow.

  • The image has an important part in Buddhist philosophy. It shows that all beings can be awakened and released from the cycle of rebirth.

  • The reclining Buddha was for the first time depicted in Gandhara art. It started during the era of 50 BC to 75 AD and peaked during rule of Kushanas.


Reclining Buddha outside India

In India and Sri Lanka, the sitting posture of Buddha is more prevalent. The reclining form is more famous in Thailand, Myanmar and other South Asian countries.


Other forms of Buddha

  • Buddha statue in India also includes different Mudras such as Bhoomi-sparsha mudra and dharma-chakra mudra.

  • Sitting Buddha is usually seen teaching or meditating. The standing Buddha depicts rising to teach after the nirvana.