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Avalokiteśvara

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Medium: wood, gold, lacquer
Dimensions: Overall height: 24 cm, width at base: 17.8 cm

This statue of Avalokiteśvara is depicted with a solemn facial expression on a stout face with long ears and partially closed eyes. The figure’s hair is fashioned as a topknot. Clad in a Buddhist robe, the Boddhisatva has a hood and wears a long robe. The figure sits on a lotus pedestal with three layers of upward-turned petals. The figure’s right hand rests on the right knee and clasps a string of prayer beads while the left rests on the pedestal. The necklace and bracelets are inlaid with red and green gems. The exquisitely designed robe has an airy appearance with smooth contours.

Avalokiteśvara, Mahāsthāmaprāpta, and Amitābha are collectively known in Buddhism as the Three Holy Ones of the West. Avalokiteśvara is an icon of compassion and wisdom and an important figure in both Buddhism and folk religion. The Boddhisatva’s compassion for all beings is considered fundamental in Mahayana Buddhism (Chinese dacheng fojiao).

Website version edited by Adam J. Ensign and Zhuang Ying

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