Himalayan Art Resources

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

གནས་བརྟན། 罗汉
(item no. 99147)
Origin Location China
Date Range 1400 - 1499
Lineages Buddhist
Size 78x50cm (30.71x19.69in)
Material Ground: Silk
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Appearance: Arhat

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Kanakavatsa, the Elder (Tibetan: ne ten, ser beu. Sanskrit: Sthavira Kanakavatsa, English: the Golden Calf): the 7th arhat from the set of 16 great arhats.

"In the excellent land of Kashmir is the noble elder Kanakavatsa, surrounded by 500 arhats; homage to the One holding a jewel lasso." (Sakya liturgical verse).

The standard iconographic form of Kanakavatsa typically portrays him holding a long jewel lasso in both hands - a gift of the nagas. 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

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