Pala India, various buddhas

11th century circa, Northeast India, Akshobhya, copper and pigments, is or was at the gTsug Lakhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

11th century circa, Northeast India, Akshobhya, copper and pigments, is or was at the gTsug Lakhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

The elephant throne on which he sits and the thunderbolt which he holds horizontally in his right hand tell us that this is buddha Akshobhya, adorned with simple jewellery, his thin celestial scarf flowing upwards.

11th-12th century, Northeast India, Amitabha, copper alloy with copper, silver and stone inlay, private collection, photo by Christie's.

11th-12th century, Northeast India, Amitabha, copper alloy with copper, silver and turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Amitabha holds his hands in the dhyana mudra to hold a begging bowl, adorned with jewellery, a celestial scarf, a sacred thread and a garland of flowers – very rarely seen on a buddha.

11th-12th-c-india-ne-amitabha-c-a-cold-g-pig-cop-sil-stone-inlay-122-cm-close-up

His jewellery, the central panel of his crown and the jewel finial on his chignon are inlaid with turquoise, the rim of his crown, his jewellery and the lotus base are inlaid with copper and silver, his eyes and urna with silver, the lips with copper. There are traces of cold gold on his warm smiling face and of lapis lazuli powder in his hair.

12th century, Northeast India, Vajrasattva, bronze, private collection.

12th century, Northeast India, Vajrasattva, bronze, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

Vajrasattva holds an upright thunderbolt (vajra) in his right hand and a vajra-handled bell (ghanta) in the other, against his hip.

Same as before, brass, is or was at the gTsug Lakhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

11th-12th century, Northeast India, Bhaisajyaguru, brass, is or was at the gTsug Lakhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

One of the eight medicine buddhas, Bhaisajyaguru holds a myrobolan fruit in the palm of his right hand and a (missing) begging bowl in the other. He sits on a double-lotus base framed by an arch decorated with (from bottom to top) monkeys, viyalas, apsaras, anatidae, flowers, and the head of a mythical creature that recalls the goat’s head of the sharabha (see the animals and mythical creatures category in the right hand margin).

 

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3 thoughts on “Pala India, various buddhas

  1. Although there is such stillness, there is a real sense of movement too, the smile of the turquoise Amitabha, the slight lean of Vajrasattva… wonderful!

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