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Sculptures > Brass > Imbued with Bodhi, Prajna and Karuna
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Imbued with Bodhi, Prajna and Karuna

Imbued with Bodhi, Prajna and Karuna

Imbued with Bodhi, Prajna and Karuna

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Brass Sculpture

8.5 X 6.0" X 3.5"
1.67 Kg
Item Code:
RF49
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$145.00
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Imbued with Bodhi, Prajna and Karuna

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Viewed 3821 times since 25th Jul, 2011
This sculpture represents the Bodhisattva Manjushri who is the god of transcendental wisdom in the Buddhist pantheon. He is shown here seated in Vajraparyankasana on a closed lotus throne. He has two hands, the right hand is upraised brandishing a double edged wisdom sword. The left hand, held near the chest, is making the gesture of preaching and holds the stem of a full-blown lotus flower with support of the tip of the thumb and forefinger. The sacred text Prajnaparamita, the scripture of transcendental wisdom is placed on the lotus flower he is holding. His body is slim and slender. The eyes are half-closed and there is a circle (urna) between the eyebrows. The face is imbued with subtle concepts like Bodhi, Prajna and Karuna. His hair is upswept in five partitions, which stand for the five letters a, ra, pa, cha, na. The five knots on his head represent the mountain of the five peaks or wu-ai-shan in the Shansi province of China, the most holy place of pilgrimage consecrated to Manjushri. There is a flaming pearl at the top of the knots. He is wearing a five-pronged beautiful crown, necklaces, ear-rings, sacred-thread, girdle, armlets and bracelets. Moreover he is adorned with a flowing silk scarf and a decorated skirt. The borders of this garments are incised with delicate chased design.

Manjushri occupies a very high position in the Buddhist pantheon. His mention as a Bodhisattva occurs in the earliest Buddhist scriptures, however, he was comparatively late in making his appearance and his inclusion in the pantheon could not have been much earlier than the Gupta period. His image has not been found in the Gandhara and Mathura schools of sculpture. The noted Buddhist scholars Ashvaghosha, Nagarjuna and Aryadeva have also not mentioned his name in their works. His name occurred for the first time in the Aryamanjushrimulakalpa. In the Namasangiti he is called 'Adi-Buddha. References in medieval Buddhist literature seem to connect him with China and Nepal, and the way in which he is mentioned seems to suggest that there was some historicity behind him. His human original was perhaps connected in some way or other with the introduction of civilization in Nepal from China.

The Sadhanamala mentions many forms of Manjushri. The usual attributes of Manjushri are a wisdom word (flaming sword) and book (the book of knowledge (Prajna)). The meaning of his attributes is that he severs the coils of ignorance with the sword and imparts knowledge from the book, he is thus in a way the Mahayana counterpart of Brahma and Sarasvati of the Brahmanical pantheon.


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