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Shakyamuni Buddha is the fourth Buddha of this fortunate aeon. As he has realized the potential of his inner being and has removed all the obscurations and has developed all the positive qualities, he is called a Buddha, a fully Awakened one. Of countless Buddhas who have appeared and will continue to appear on this earth, Buddha Shakyamuni was the one who regenerated the teachings of Enlightened beings for our present era.

Shakyamuni Buddha was born in Kapilavastu in Nepal some 2600 years ago and performed many buddha activities, for 45 years in this Indian sub-continent, for the benefit of all sentient beings. His most outstanding deed were the teachings which showed the path to liberation from the suffering of birth and death to the supreme enlightenment of Buddhahood. This is symbolized by Dharmacakra mudra of the Buddha. Buddha Shakyamuni out of compassion for all sentient beings taught many different kinds of teachings, mostly sutras and tantras to suit the varying degrees of intelligence of his disciples.

All the Sutra and Tantra teachings of the Buddha Shakyamuni are said to be the means of liberation or the path leading to Buddhahood. According to Swayambhu Purana, Buddha Shakyamuni also visited Swayambhu Caitya and delivered the teachings on the origin of Swayambhu Stupa upon the request of Bodhisattva Maitreya.

The images of Buddha Shakyamuni can be found in large numbers carved in various materials like stone, metals, claywire, or in paintings or other forms. He is depicted in various postures. Most popular Buddha images found in Nepal are in Bhumisparsa mudra i.e. earth touching gesture with yellow robe. He has Usnisha, on the crown of the head, Urnakosha between eyebrows and long lobed ears. He is golden in color. He has 32 major and 80 minor marks of Sambhogakaya Buddha. He is always seen with pinda patra (alms bowl) over the hand on the lap. He can also be seen in vitarka mudra, dhyana mudra, dharmacakramudra, and other mudras.

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