The Padmapani Avalokiteshvara in Dokra would be an unusual addition to your home decor. The traditional metalsmiths of the Dokra Damar tribe, who have inhabited the Eastern Delta region for centuries now, are known for their love of social life themes and predominantly Hindu iconography. As such, a Bodhisattva in Dokra is the very picture of the sameness of Hindu-Buddhist schools of philosophy and the fluidity of devotion.
The Lord Avalokiteshvara stands with the right hand raised, holding (‘pani’) a lotus (‘padma’) betwixt the fingers. A wide-set halo shines bright behind His head, the rays of the sun emanating from the circlet in all directions. A composure of profound contemplation on His face, this is the most expressive aspect of an otherwise minimalistic work of art. In fact, a degree of seductive expression characterises the shapely form of the Bodhisattva, the folds of garment on His long limbs, and the finely carved digits of both hands and feet.
On either side of the handsome face is a thousand-petalled (‘sahasraara’) lotus. The long, thick stalk of each winds around His elbow to the right, His soft palm to the left, and cascades all the way down to the solid, wooden plinth. Such a precision work of art belongs to the home of the discerning folk art lover.
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