Sculptures of Anuradhapura

The most significant sculptures of Anuradhapura are Buddha statues. It has been discovered several granite statues from Anuradhapura period. It can be categorized in to three types of Buddha statues according to their postures. They are seated, standing and recumbent statues of Buddha. Most of the statues discovered in Anuradhapura era in the posture of seated.
There are several kinds of postures of these statues.
1. “Padmasana”- this posture is the way both feet are folded on the lap turning the feet upward. E.g. The Saranath statue of India

Padmasana

Padmasana


2.“Weerasana”- this is the way seated and folding the right leg and resting on the left leg. E.g. The Samadi Statue of Mahamewna Park

Weerasana

Weerasana

 

3.“Badrasana” – Pedestal constructed fairly in high position and sitting on that. E.g. This posture can be seen in Shrine room of Ajantha of India and not been found in Sri Lanka.
4.”wajrasana”- this is the way the right leg folded on the left turning the folded feet upward and resting the open palm on the feet.
In addition there are different ways of “mudra” (hand signals) reflecting in statues. This is treated as a better way of expressing the ideas to the viewer.
1. “Dhayana mudra” – is the way keeping the open right hand on the left hand in meditation. E.g. The Samadi Statue of Mahamewna Park

Dhayana mudra

Dhayana mudra

 

2.“Abhaya mudra”- is the way the open hand is raised and turn towards the viewer. E.g. The Awukana statue

Abhaya mudra

Abhaya mudra

 

3.“Warada mudra”- is the way that the right hand turning downward and directing the open palm to the viewer.

Warada mudra

Warada mudra

 

4. “Bhumi sparsha mudra” – in this the downward turn hand is pointing at the ground depicting that this earth is a witness to me.

Bhumi sparsha mudra

Bhumi sparsha mudra

 

Buddha statue of Mulgirigala which depicts the “Bhumi sparsha mudra”

Buddha statue of Mulgirigala which depicts the “Bhumi sparsha mudra”


5.”Dharma chakkra mudra”- this mudra depicts the style of explaining something with both hands. E.g. The Saranath statue of India

Dharma chakkra mudra

Dharma chakkra mudra


6.“Witharka mudra”- this is a sign of solving a problem. E.g.  The metal statue of Badulla.

Witharka mudra

Witharka mudra

The bronze Buddha statue of Badulla which depicts the “Witharka mudra”

The bronze Buddha statue of Badulla which depicts the “Witharka mudra”


7.“Paradukkha dukkitha mudra”- this mudra depicts folding both hands on chest, is a way of indicating taking the pains of others. E.g. The seated statue of Gal Vihara of Polonnaruwa.

Paradukkha dukkitha mudra

Paradukkha dukkitha mudra


There are two postures can be seen in statues namely upright and “thribanga” postures (meaning bent at three places namely the shoulder, hip, and the knee) A good e.g. for the “thribanga” posture is the standing statue of Gal Vihara of Polonnaruwa.