Cut from a single granite rock, the Samadhi Statue is 7ft 3ins high, and according to legend, had two gems for eyes that reportedly ‘went missing’ in 1914.
The Buddha is shown in the Dhyana Mudra position, the posture most popularly associated with meditation and enlightenment, or nirvana.
The statue was found in 1888 at its present location in what is now Mahamevn?wa Park in Anuradhapura. Benjamin Rawland, in his book ‘Art and Architecture of India’, describes it as "the perfect embodiment of the idea of Samadhi is conveyed through the very simplicity of conception”.
He writes: “The perfect material equilibrium of the figure connotes the perfect mental state of the Sakyamuni through the massive stability of the triangular base formed by the inter locked legs mounted by the erect column body which supports the perfectly impassive mask-like face."
The only flaw, if that is what it is, might be a post-find repair to the statue’s nose, which, according to Raven Hart in his ‘Ceylon - History in Stone’ is ‘oversharp and overlarge’.
But it would take a sharp eye to notice such a thing.