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The bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara
Place of Origin: Tibet
Date: 1800-1900
Object Name: Thangka
Materials: Colors on cotton
Dimensions: H. 30 3/8 in x W. 23 1/2 in, H. 77.2 cm x W. 59.7 cm (image); H. 60 in x W. 41 1/8 in, H. 152.4 cm x W. 104.5 cm (overall)
Credit Line: Gift of the Friends of Richard Davis
Department: Himalayan Art
Collection: Painting
Object Number: 1988.34
On Display: No

Description

Label:

Avalokiteshvara,the bodhisattva of compassion throughout the Buddhist world, is aIso the patron  saint of Tibet. Indeed, the Dalai Lamas are believed to be incarnations  of Avalokiteshvara. The form  of the bodhisattva depicted in this painting has four arms, and he embodies the six sacred syllables om mani padme hum, which translates as "om,the jewel is in the lotus." This mantra  is Avalokiteshvara's own, and is popularly believed to deliver beings from  bad rebirths. This Avalokiteshvara  is painted  white; his upper hands hold prayer beads and a lotus;his lower hands, poised in the gesture of adoration, clasp a wish-granting jewel at chest level.

Flanking Avalokiteshvara  are the bodhisattvas Manjushri (left) and Vajrapani (right). Collectively these three bodhisattvas are known as the Three Protectors of Tibet. Together, they represent the compassion, wisdom, and power of all the Buddhas. Finally, the deities White and Green Tara, both of whom  are said to have been born from  Avalokiteshvara's tears, appear near the bottom of the painting. These deities can also be seen in two  other paintings  in this exhibition.


Label:

Avalokiteshvara,the bodhisattva of compassion throughout the Buddhist world, is aIso the patron  saint of Tibet. Indeed, the Dalai Lamas are believed to be incarnations  of Avalokiteshvara. The form  of the bodhisattva depicted in this painting has four arms, and he embodies the six sacred syllables om mani padme hum, which translates as "om,the jewel is in the lotus." This mantra  is Avalokiteshvara's own, and is popularly believed to deliver beings from  bad rebirths. This Avalokiteshvara  is painted  white; his upper hands hold prayer beads and a lotus;his lower hands, poised in the gesture of adoration, clasp a wish-granting jewel at chest level.

Flanking Avalokiteshvara  are the bodhisattvas Manjushri (left) and Vajrapani (right). Collectively these three bodhisattvas are known as the Three Protectors of Tibet. Together, they represent the compassion, wisdom, and power of all the Buddhas. Finally, the deities White and Green Tara, both of whom  are said to have been born from  Avalokiteshvara's tears, appear near the bottom of the painting. These deities can also be seen in two  other paintings  in this exhibition.