Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Arhat/Sthavira (Buddhist Elder) - 16 Elders: Pindola Bharadvaja

གནས་བརྟན། 罗汉
(item no. 541)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1600 - 1699
Lineages Uncertain
Size 68.58x43.18cm (27x17in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment, Fine Gold Line on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# F1996.32.4
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Appearance: Arhat

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Pindola Bharadvaja, the Elder (Tibetan: ne ten, bha ra dva ja so nyom, Sanskrit: Sthavira Pindola Bharadvaja): the 12th arhat from the set of 16 great arhats, principal students of the buddha Shakyamuni.

Dark in complexion, advanced in age, with a straight hanging beard, he gazes downward on the right hand holding outstretched a religious folio book loosely wrapped with a blue scarf. The left hand holds to the heart a blue-black begging bowl. As an outer garment he wears the red patchwork robe made from strips of discarded cloth, an inner garment of green and a lower robe of orange tied with a green sash. Yellow socks cover the feet. Atop an orange monk's mat above a blue cushion, he sits with the legs in a relaxed posture.

In front on a low bench, blue in colour, rest a pair of fine blue shoes. Nearby is a blue bowl - incense burner, a blue vase with a sprig of red coral and various precious objects of wishing jewels, ivory and gold ornaments strewn about. At the lower left a standing attendant wearing orange and red monastic robes holds upraised, respectfully with a blue scarf, a bowl of fresh fruit as an offering. The background is mountainous with a twilight sky filled with drifting clouds. The arhat sits at the entrance to an earthy brown cave, with assorted landscapes of mountain and valley vignettes filling the foreground. (See painting 222).

"On the Eastern [continent] of Purva-Videha is the noble elder Pindola Bharadvaja, surrounded by 1,100 arhats; homage to the One holding a book and begging bowl." (Sakya liturgical text).

The Sixteen Great Arhats are generally painted as a set. The full group would include the buddha Shakyamuni, the 16 arhats, the attendant Dharmatala, the patron Hvashang and the Four Guardians of the Directions - Vaishravana, Virupaksha, Dritarashtra and Virudhaka.

Jeff Watt 5-99

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Arhat/Sthavira: Main Page & Arhat/Sthavira Appearance (Elder)
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 3
Painting Set: Arhats: Single Main Figure
Arhat/Sthavira: Pindola Bharadvaja Main Page
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Arhat/Sthavira