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Prince Siddhartha Gautama encounters an old man, a sick man, a decaying corpse, and a wandering ascetic. Painting on silk, 10th century, from Tun Huang, Gansu province, China


Prince Siddhartha Gautama encounters an old man, a sick man, a decaying corpse, and a wandering ascetic. Painting on silk, 10th century, from Tun Huang, Gansu province, China


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Prince Siddhartha Gautama encounters an old man, a sick man, a decaying corpse, and a wandering ascetic. Painting on silk, 10th century, from Tun Huang, Gansu province, China

BUDDHA: FOUR ENCOUNTERS.
Prince Siddhartha Gautama encounters an old man, a sick man, a decaying corpse, and a wandering ascetic. Painting on silk, 10th century, from Tun Huang, Gansu province, China

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Media ID 10731127

10th Century 6th Century Bc Ascetic Buddha Buddhism Burial Cane Chinese Corpse Encounter Founder Four Gate Gautama Hunchback Life Nepal Prince Sick Siddhartha Silk Wall Sakyamuni


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EDITORS COMMENTS
This 10th-century painting on silk, titled "Buddha: Four Encounters, " depicts the profound moments when Prince Siddhartha Gautama first encounters the harsh realities of life outside his sheltered palace walls. The artwork originates from Tun Huang in Gansu province, China. In this mesmerizing piece, we witness Prince Siddhartha's transformative journey as he comes face to face with four pivotal encounters. The old man symbolizes the inevitability of aging and the fleeting nature of youth and beauty. Next, a sick man represents human suffering and vulnerability to illness. A decaying corpse serves as a stark reminder of mortality and impermanence. Finally, a wandering ascetic embodies renunciation and spiritual seeking. The artist skillfully captures these powerful moments through intricate brushwork and vibrant colors that bring each encounter to life. This painting not only showcases exceptional artistic talent but also holds deep philosophical significance within Buddhism. Through these encounters, Prince Siddhartha begins questioning his privileged existence and embarks on a path towards enlightenment that ultimately leads him to become Sakyamuni Buddha – the founder of Buddhism. As viewers gaze upon this ancient masterpiece, they are transported back in time to witness an essential chapter in the life of one who would become an enlightened being revered by millions around the world today.

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