Аукана Будда (Aukana Buddha)

Самая высокая древняя статуя Будды на Шри-Ланке, датируемая V веком н.э., находится в 30 км к северо-западу от Дамбуллы и в 50 км к югу от Анурадхапуры, недалеко от искусственного водохранилища Кала Вева (Kala Weva).

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Location and appearance

The Avukana statue is located in the village of Avukana (also spelled Aukana) near Kekirawa. It is close to the Kala Wewa reservoir, and faces it. It was carved out of a large granite rock face, but is not completely separated. A narrow strip of rock has been left at the back of the statue, connecting it to the rock face and supporting it. However, the pedestal on which the Buddha stands, which is carved in the form of a lotus flower, was carved separately and positioned under the statue. The statue alone is 38 feet 10 inches (11.84 m) in height, and with the pedestal the total height of the Avukana statue reaches 42 feet (13 m). The statue had been located within a large image house or shrine, of which parts of the walls still remain. The structure was made of brick and stone, and was 74 feet (23 m) long and 63 feet (19 m) wide.

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Интересные факты

  • Каменная статуя высотой 12 метров высечена из цельного куска скальной породы.
  • Несмотря на огромные размеры, пропорции статуи выдержаны идеально: во время дождя капли с носа капают ровно в точку между ступнями с точностью до миллиметра.
  • Статуя высечена в пропорции 9-ти лиц, т.е. высота статуи равна высоте девяти лиц.
  • Аукана (Aukana) в переводе с местного наречия означает – «поглощающий или пожирающий солнце».
  • Статуя была найдена британским археологом совершенно случайно в 1850 году.
  • Жестом поднятой правой руки Будда благословляет всех вокруг, а левой – подбирает одежду перед переходом через реку.
  • Особенно статуя выглядит утром в лучах восходящего солнца.

Аукана – это очень известное и почитаемое священное место среди буддистов и паломников со всего мира. По утрам у статуи монахи возлагают цветы, а по праздникам проводят религиозные церемонии.

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The Avukana statue is considered to be one of the best examples of a standing statue of the Buddha from ancient Sri Lanka. The Avukana statue shows some influence of the Gandhara school of art, as well as the Amaravati school of art of India. The robe is worn tightly, clearly outlining the shape of the body, and its pleats are carved clearly and delicately. It is worn over the left shoulder, and the right shoulder is bare, as is the tradition in Buddha statues of Sri Lanka. The Buddha’s body is straight, and the left hand clutches the robe at the left shoulder. The right hand is raised up to the right shoulder, with the palm facing left. This position is known as the Asisa mudra, a variation of the Abhaya mudra.

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The perfect Buddha statue

Carved out of the living rock with supreme assurance, Aukana Buddha is a magnificent image. His expression is serene & from his curled hair there sprouts the flame called siraspata signifying the power of supreme enlightenment. Although the statue is large & stands straight up with feet firmly planted on the lotus stone pedestal, the body retains a graceful quality enhanced by beautifully flowing drapery clinging to the body.

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The Avukana statue is widely believed to have been constructed in the 5th century during the reign of King Dhatusena, and under his orders. However, another theory is that it was done by an individual named Barana. There is another nearby standing statue of the Buddha, quite similar to the Avukana statue, at Sasseruwa. According to legend, the two statues are the result of a competition between a stone sculpting guru (master) and gola (pupil). The story goes that the master constructed the Avukana statue, while the pupil made the statue at Sasseruwa. The first to complete his statue had to notify the other by ringing a bell. The master managed to complete his statue first, and won the competition. This is said to be why the Sasseruwa statue is unfinished. The Avukana statue is considered to be the better of the two, and similarities between them have led historians to believe that the story is actually true. However, that is mere legend as the Sasseruwa stature was built nearly four hundred years prior to the Avukana Buddha image. Reswehera Rajamaha Vihara is an ancient temple which was built by the king Devanampiya Tissa (307-267 BC).

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The tallest Buddha statue in the world

The magnificent free-standing statue carved out of a single rock is the tallest Buddha statue in existence today. Following the destruction of similar but much larger statues at Bamiyan in Afghanistan, the Aukana Buddha has gained even greater significance in the Buddhist World.

The whole of cultured world was horrified at the savagery & barbarity inflicted upon the colossal Bamian Buddha statues carved from the cliffs that dominate the dusty plains in the heart of Hindu Kush which have watched serenely for 15 centuries as the fortunes of the city beneath them waned from Silk Road metropolis to remote Afghan backwater.

In honour of the destroyed & in defiance of intolerant, China quietly goes with its own form of defiance: in their territory, carving, sculpting, erecting two statues similar in every conceivable way, to the two Buddha Statues destroyed by Taliban. In the ancient times Bamiyan, the region where Mahayana Buddhism originated, was known as Vokkana or Avakana. Do we have a clue to the name Aukana? In Sinhalese there is no such word as Aukana meaning sun eating as erroneously proclaimed.

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Current situation

Today, pilgrims visit the statue from all parts of the country and the Avukana statue has become a popular tourist attraction. Although the site lacked many facilities, it has now been improved by the Department of Archaeology and the Civil Defence Force.

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Best time to see

The best time to see the magnificent statue is at the crack of dawn when the first rays of sun light up the east-facing statue’s finely carved features.

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click on photo to enlarge

Aukana Buddha Statue

Aukana Buddha Statue

Aukana Buddha Statue

Aukana Buddha Statue

Aukana Buddha Statue

At Aukana Buddha Statue

At Aukana Buddha Statue

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Further reading

von Schroeder, Ulrich (1990). Buddhist Sculptures of Sri Lanka. (752 p.; 1620 illustrations). Hong Kong: Visual Dharma Publications, Ltd. ISBN 962-7049-05-0

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