Reclining Buddha – The Nirvana Buddha


What is Reclining Buddha?

The Reclining Buddha is known as the Sleeping, Dying or Nirvana Buddha. A Reclining Buddha is a statue that represents Buddha lying down and is a major iconographic and statuary pattern of Buddhism. This statue depicts the Historical Buddha in the last moments of life on earth, prior to the Buddha dying one last time before entering Nirvana. And there is another speculation that an alms giver had accidentally given the Buddha pork that had gone bad, and this eventually led to the death of the Buddha.

The Reclining Buddha had gained enlightenment in this lifetime, the Buddha was able to escape the endless cycle of birth – death – rebirth (known as samsara) and was able to enter Nirvana. In this pose, the Buddha is always depicted lying on the right hand side on top of a resting table and his head resting on a cushion or relying on his right elbow, supporting his head with his hand.

This pattern seems to have emerged at the same time as other representations of the Buddha in the Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhara. One of the most well-known examples of this statue is enshrined at Wat Pho in Bangkok, Thailand. Although there are numerous other temples throughout Southeast Asia that house statues in the posture.