Himalayan Art Resources

Arhat/Sthavira: Ajita Main Page

Ajita Masterworks

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Tibetan: Neten Mapampa (gnas brtan ma pham pa)

Ajita the Elder (Tibetan: ne ten, ma pham pa, Sanskrit: Sthavira Ajita): the 2nd arhat from the set of 16 great arhats.

"On the Rishi Mountain in Crystal Forest is the noble elder Ajita, surrounded by 100 arhats; homage to the One with the two hands placed in meditation." (Sakya liturgical verse).

The Elder Ajita is most commonly portrayed with the hands placed in the mudra of meditation, however there are several different and varying traditions graphically depicting the arhats. 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 8-99 [updated 8-2017, 1-2020]