Tibet, Shakyamuni seated – dhyana mudra

12th-13th century, Tibet, buddha Shakyamuni, brass, cold gold on face, pigments, at the Jokhang, published by Ulrich Von Schroeder

12th-13th century, Tibet, buddha Shakyamuni, brass with cold gold on face and pigments, is or was at the Jokhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

The historical buddha is seated with both hands in the meditation gesture, the edge of his transparent garment secured in his left hand. His head is topped with the flame of enlightenment. But for this detail, the figure could also be the dhyani buddha Amitabha.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, terracotta with lacquer and paint, at the Freer Sackler gallery (USA).

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, terracotta with lacquer and paint, at the Freer & Sackler gallery (USA).

Shakyamuni sits under the sacred fig or bhodi tree, wearing a patched robe that covers one shoulder only, his hands in the dhyana mudra, holding a begging bowl. The back panel is decorated with two elephants topped with viyalas and makaras, with foliage all around. The double-lotus base on which he sits is supported by a throne decorated with dharma wheels, lotus flowers and other auspicious symbols.

13th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, copper,

13th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, copper with gilding, is or was at the gTsug Lakhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

This very unusual Nepalese-style buddha, who sits with his hands in the dyana mudra, has flames coming out of his back. This is in allusion to the yamakapratiharya miracle according to which the buddha rose into the air and produced flames from his shoulders and water from his feet. We will note that he is adorned with a necklace and that he looks very much like a Nepalese Manjushri published in a previous post (Nepal, Thakuri period, 7th May 2014 “From India to Tibet via Nepal”).

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