Standing Bodhisattva Images

Standing Bodhisattva Images

The Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara was originally a male figure and the Bodhisattva Tara is always female. However, in the collection there are examples, which may be female, but not necessarily images of the Bodhisattva Tara. Those whose identity is in doubt are included here and further information will be sought. Sometimes statues were made of the kings and queens in various dynasties in Java showing them as gods, goddesses or bodhisattvas to immortalize them after their death. It may be that the attributes or mudras chosen did not follow the usual characteristics and without knowing more about the origins, it is difficult to be sure, who the figurines represent.  In China the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara starting about the time of the Sung Dynasty has been shown in female form and is known as Guanshihyin or just Guan Yin.  More details will be added to the descriptions as more information is collected. The numbered images are part of the Apsarah Gallery Collection.


1.  Bodhisattva

8-Bodhisattva

Material:  bronze, high relief.
Patina:  dark brown.
Posture:  sampada (standing with feet together) on a vishvapadma pedestal, with hands in the anjalimudra, the gesture of homage.
The oval behind the head represents an amsumala (nimbus).
Probably an attendant bodhisattva placed near to a Buddha image.
Note the lotus plants coming from the pots on either side. This is a characteristic of statues made during the Majapahit period.


2.  Bodhisattva

7- BodhisattvaMaterial:  bronze, high relief.
Patina:  dark brown.
Posture:  sampada (standing with feet together), with hands in the anjalimudra, the gesture of homage.
The oval behind the head represents an amsumala (nimbus).
Probably an attendant bodhisattva placed near to a Buddha image.
Note the lotus plants coming from the pots on either side. This is a characteristic of statues made during the Majapahit period.


3. Bodhisattva

41- BodhisattvaMaterial:  bronze, high relief.
Patina:  greenish brown
Posture:  sampada (standing with feet together) on a vishvapadma pedestal, with the hands showing the dharmacakramudra (the rotation of the dharma wheel).
The oval behind the head represents an amsumala (nimbus).
If female, the image may be the Bodhisattva Tara.


4.  Bodhisattva

B_02-BodhisattvaMaterial:  bronze, high relief.
Patina:  greenish brown
Posture:  sampada (standing with feet together) on a vishvapadma pedestal, with the hands showing the dharmacakramudra (the rotation of the dharma wheel).
The oval behind the head represents an amsumala (nimbus).
If female, the image may be the Bodhisattva Tara.


5.  Bodhisattva

17- BodhisattvaMaterial:  bronze
Patina:   brown
ish green
Posture:  sampada (standing with feet together) on a vishvapadma pedestal, with the hands showing the dharmacakramudra (the rotation of the dharma wheel).
If female, the image may be the Bodhisattva Tara.


6.  Bodhisattva Amoghapāśa

53-AmoghasidiMaterial:  bronze
Patina:  brownish green
Posture: sampada (standing with feet together) on a vishvapadma pedestal, with the front right hand showing the vitarkamudra (teaching mudra) and the front left hand holding the kamaṇḍalu (water pot).  The rear right hand holding the amoghapāśa  (unfailing rope or lasso) and showing the karanamudra, which signifies warding off evil; and the rear left hand holding a cāmara (fly whisk).
A manifestation of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara.


7. Bodhisattva

40-BodhisattvaMaterial:  bronze
Patina:  dark brown
Posture:  abhanga (standing on the right foot with the left leg bent at the knee) on a vishvapadma pedestal, four arms with all hands showing the vitarkamudra (teaching mudra).
The ring behind the head represents an amsumala (nimbus).
Probably Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara.


8.  Bodhisattva

57-BodhisattvaMaterial:  zinc-tin-copper alloy, high relief.
Patina:  dark grey
Posture: sampada (standing with feet together) on a vishvapadma pedestal, with both hands showing the vitarkamudra (teaching mudra).
Probably Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara.


9.  Bodhisattva

25- BodhisattvaMaterial:  bronze, high relief.
Patina:  greenish brown
Posture:  sampada (standing with feet together), with four arms karanamudra (expelling evil).  The rear hands showing the mudra and the front hands the dharmacakramudra(the mudra of rotating the dharma wheel).
Probably Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara.


10.  Bodhisattva Guanshiyin

49-Bodhisattva-GuanshiyinMaterial:  bronze
Patina: 
greenish brown
Posture:  sampada (standing with feet together) on a vishvapadma pedestal, with the right hand showing the abhayamudra (teaching mudra) and the left hand varadamudra (the granting of boons).
The image is the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, confirmed by the Buddha Amitabha in the crown.  However, The figurine may be female, but if a male Chinese figure, it is interesting because since about the 12th century this Bodhisattva in China has always been distinctively female in form and is known as Guānshìyīn or Guānyīn.


11. Bodhisattva Kshitigarbha

18-Bodhisattva-KshitigarbhaMaterial:  bronze.
Patina:  brown.
Posture: tribhanga (three bends) with the right hand holding a kakkhara, a beggar’s staff, and the left hand behind his back holding a pustaka, a scroll representing the tripitaka, the Buddhist Canon.
The image is of an ascetic with shaved head and elongated ears, in the robes of a Buddhist monk, although in China and Japan he may be shown with a crown and holding a sistrum and the chintamani, the magic jewel.
Kshitigarbha (Sanskrit: क्षितिगर्भ Kṣitigarbha) is an important bodhisattva in the Mahayana tradition especially in China, Korea and Japan.  The name may be translated as Earth Matrix, or Earth Store.  Kshitigarbha is known for his vow not to achieve Buddhahood until all hells are emptied and carries a staff to force open the gates of hell. He is therefore often regarded as the bodhisattva of hell beings and the guardian of children who died before their parents.  The figurine could also be associated with Phra Malai an arahant from Sri Lanka, who is known to those of the Theravada tradition in South-east Asia, and of whom similar stories are told.
A Sanskrit mantra for this bodhisattva is Om Kṣitigarbha bodhisattva yaḥ and may be found in Japan written in the ancient Siddhaṃ script.Ksitigarbha-Mantra

A mantra popular in Chinese communities, Om bo la mo ling to ning soha, may be heard on the player below.

 


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