Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Avalokiteshvara (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity)

སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས། 观音菩萨
(item no. 30572)
Origin Location China
Date Range 1400 - 1499
Lineages Buddhist
Material Metal
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Alternate Names: Lokeshvara Avalokita Lokanata Lokanatha Mahakarunika

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Avalokiteshvara.

Lokeshvara Generic Names:
ཐུགས་རྗེ་ཆེན་པོ། Mahakarunika
འཇིག་རྟེན་དབང་ཕྱུག། Lokeshvara
འཇིག་རྟེན་མགོན་པོ། Lokanata
སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག། Avalokiteshvara
སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས།་ Avalokita

In an Nepalese publication listing and describing the 108 forms of Avalokiteshvara there are four where he has one face and two hands holding a book in the left hand. With only one of these descriptions is he seated. In the other three descriptions he is standing. The seated form, #37, holds a vajra scepter in the right hand. The sculpture above does not match precisely with any of the 108 described forms.

"37. Karandavyuha Lokesvara. He is one-faced and two-armed and sits in the Vajraparyanka attitude on a lotus. He holds the vajra in his right hand and the book against his chest in the left.

[73. Pindapatra Lokesvara. He is one-faced and two-armed and stands on a lotus. He holds the Pindapatra (the bowl) in his two hands near the navel.]

78. Vajrakhanda Lokesvara. He also is similar to No. 73 in all respects, except that here the god holds the lotus bud in his right hand and the book against his chest with the left.

96. Manjunatha Lokesvara. Also similar to No. 73, but here the god holds the rosary in his right hand and the book against his chest with his left.

99. Visnukanta Lokesvara. He again is identical with No. 73 in all respects, except that here the god displays the Varada mudra with his right hand and the book against his chest in his left." (108 FORMS OF AVALOKITESVARA. Excerpt from Benoytosh Bhattacharyya, THE INDIAN BUDDHIST ICONOGRAPHY, 1958 [Appendix]).

Jeff Watt 2-2014

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Buddhist Deity: Avalokiteshvara (Seated, Holding a Lotus)
Buddhist Deity: Avalokiteshvara (Yongle)
Sculpture: Yongle Style, Xuande & Zhengtong Period Sculpture
Sculpture: Yongle Style (Unidentified Subject)
Subject: Lokeshvara/Manjushri Confusion (Yongle)