Sleeping Buddha at Dazu Our Trip to Dazu, Sichuan, China
5. Sleeping Buddha at Dazu

The Sleeping Buddha, the keynote sculpture at Dazu, and one of the most famous in China, lies at the midpoint of the crescent. Here on a grand yet serene scale, at the entrance to the historical Buddha, Sakyamuni, into Nirvana, the scene is rendered into a dreamscape. Here, in the bow of the Great Buddha Crescent, Prince Sakyamuni reclines on his right side, his back disappearing into stone.

The carving measures 96 feet head-to-knees, forming a backdrop for a splendid ensemble of life-sized, lifelike attendants (bodhisattvas and officials in hats) who wade waist-deep through a river of stone in which their prince sleeps the unearthly sleep of the enlightened. The attendants flow gently to and fro before this magnified figure, facing different directions and expressing their individual devotion.

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