When this too failed Mara approached to claim the Bodhisattva's seat directly. He asked him by what right he sat there beneath the tree. The Bodhisattva replied that it was by right of having practiced the Perfections over countless aeons. Mara replied that he had done likewise and, what was more, he had witnesses to prove it: all his armies would vouch for him, but who would vouch for the Bodhisattva? The Bodhisattva then lifted his right hand and touched the ground calling on the very earth as his witness. This is the "earth-touching gesture" depicted in so many statues of the Buddha through the ages. It signals the defeat of Mara and the Buddha's complete awakening. As the Buddha touched the earth Mara tumbled from his elephant and his armies fled in disarray.