Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Avalokiteshvara (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity) - Shristhikantha

སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས། 观音菩萨
(item no. 65564)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Notes about the Central Figure

Alternate Names: Lokeshvara Avalokita Lokanata Lokanatha Mahakarunika

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Peaceful

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Shristhikantha, Rakta Lokeshvara (Tibetan: chen re zi mar po. English: the Red Lord of the World), a meditational form of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara.

Peaceful in appearance, red in colour, he has one face with the hair piled on the top of the head with long black tresses falling across the shoulders. The right hand is extended downward in the gesture of supreme generosity with the palm facing outward. The left hand holds the stem of a pink lotus flower blossoming over the shoulder. Adorned with a crown of gold, jewel ornaments, earrings, necklaces, bracelets and anklets, he wears a long green scarf and a deerskin across the left shoulder. The lower body is garbed in a mult-coloured skirt. Atop a white moon disc and white lotus seat, he stands surrounded by a blue nimbus ringed with orange, and a green aureole.

At the top center is the buddha Vajradhara, blue, with the hands holding a vajra and bell at the heart. Surrounding the central figure are fourteen worldly deities seated on lotus flowers arising from thin tethers of gold emanating from various parts of the body of Lokeshvara. At the top right is Shiva holding a hand drum and trident. Descending at the sides are Brahma, Surya, Varuna, Chandra, Vishnu, Agni and others. Two arhat figures stand at the lower right and left.

At the bottom right is white Ganesha with an elephant head and six hands, in a dancing posture with the right leg drawn up standing on a blue rat. At the bottom center is the wrathful protector Shadbhuja Mahakala, black, with one face and six hands, standing on a prone white elephant, surrounded by orange flames. At the right corner is the wrathful deity Vajrapani, blue, with one face and two hands.

An inscription along the bottom details the purpose of the commission along with the patrons names and the date of creation.

Jeff Watt 1-2008

84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha: The Basket’s Display (Kāraṇḍa­vyūha, ’’phags pa za ma tog bkod pa zhes bya ba theg pa chen po’i mdo)

Front of Painting
English Translation of Inscription: [Dedication verse and date along the bottom front of painting].

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 4
Buddhist Deity: Avalokita, Shristhikantha (Red, Standing)
Subject: Pilgrimage Souvenir Paintings (Newar Merchants)
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Avalokita (Painting)