30 Jul '15, 1pm

The spread of ancient religion through 11 sculptures: A new permanent gallery at Singapore's Asian Civilizatio...

Soon Mahayana Buddhism becomes increasingly popular as it suggests that everyone can achieve salvation. "It's much more Buddhism for the layperson not just the monk who can live a monastic life like the Buddha," says McCullough. Bodhisattva figures like this start to proliferate and help to make the religion more accessible. Intercessors of sorts, Bodhisattvas have achieved enlightenment like Buddha but they forgo entering nirvana and stay in the physical world to guide others. This striking bodhisattva with a mop of thick curls was shares similarities with classical Roman sculptures. It was found in Gandhara, an area in present-day Pakistan and Afghanistan. Alexander the Great conquered the region around 330 B.C and so Greco-Roman motifs filtered into Buddhist imagery over the years. The small indent in the figure's forehead would have been inlaid with a jewel. Bodhisattv...

Full article: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/07/30/arts/gallery/ancient-re...

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