India, Khasarpana Lokeshvara – stone

9th-10th century, India, Bihar, basalt, at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco (USA).

9th-10th century, India, Bihar, basalt, at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco (USA).

Particularly popular in India during the Pala period, this form of Avalokiteshvara can be easily identified through his matted hair piled up on his head, the absence of a crown and the fact that he sits with a leg pendant, the foot resting on a lotus flower stemming from the base, usually holding the root or stem of lotus in his left hand.

11th-12th century, India, Bengal, Avalokiteshvara, phyllite,

11th-12th century, India, Bengal, Avalokiteshvara, phyllite, at the Asia Society Museum in New York (USA).

His right hand is often extended palm out in the gesture of supreme generosity (varada mudra) and may hold the stem of another lotus.

11th-12th century, India, Bihar or Bengal, schist, same as before.

11th-12th century, India, Bihar or Bengal, schist, same as before.

Often depicted on stone steles, he is usually accompanied by attendants (the smaller figures on each side of him), and sometimes by the five dyani buddhas (on the arch, above his head) and various other characters, including hungry ghosts (kneeling below him).

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