Tibet, various panditas

13th-14th century, Tibet, pandit, copper alloy and cold gold, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

This unidentified character holds a vajra sceptre in his right hand and a skull cup in the other.

14th century, same as before, copper alloy with silver inlay, same as before.

In buddhism, the term pandit or pandita, of Hindu origin, refers to Indian scholars and teachers who have mastered 5 sciences (the sanskrit language, reasoning, medicine, arts and spirituality). They are normally depicted with a monastic robe and a pointed hat with long flaps on each side.

15th century circa, Tibet, Kushalipa, gilt copper alloy, probably part of a Chakrasamavara set, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

Kushalipa, an accomplished Indian teacher who spent several years teaching the dharma in Tibet, is seated in the vajra position with his hands turning the wheel of dharma. He wears a fine robe decorated with a chased floral pattern.

15th century, Tibet, almost certainly Mahapandita Vanaratna, gilt copper alloy and paint, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

This mahapandita (‘very great scholar’) is thought to be Vanaratna, who made several journeys to Tibet, where he was asked to teach a particular aspect of buddhism in which he specialised.

 

 

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