Himalayan Art Resources

Arhat/Sthavira: Vanavasin Main Page

Vanavasin Masterworks

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- Vanavasin Description (below)
- Tibetan Iconography
- Chinese Iconography
--- Yongle Style
- Sthavira/Arhats Main Page
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Tibetan: Neten Nagnane (gnas brtan nags na g.nas)

Vanavasin the Elder (Tibetan: pag pa ne ten, nag la ne, Sanskrit: Arya Sthavira Vanavasin): the 3rd arhat from the set of sixteen great arhats.

"In the mountain cave of Seven-leaves is the noble elder Vanavasin, surrounded by 1,400 arhats; homage to the One with a pointing gesture and holding a fly whisk." (Sakya liturgical verse).

The iconographic form normally ascribed to Vanavasin has him performing a pointing gesture with the right hand and holding a fly whisk in the left. The Sixteen Great Arhats are generally painted as a set. Typically 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.

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Jeff Watt 5-99 [updated 8-2017, 1-2020]