Nepal, Amoghapasha Lokeshvara (6)

Undated (circa 14th century), Nepal?, Amoghapasha Lokeshvara, (gilt) metal, private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources  

Amoghapasha with one head and eight arms, his main right hand in the fear-allaying gesture, the next one down in the gesture of supreme generosity, the remaining right hands holding a rosary and a noose now lost. On the other side he holds a book, and a lotus, the trident and the water pot are missing.

14th-15th century, Nepal, Amoghapasha Lokeshvara, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s, Chinese Art, 31st May 2018, lot 637, Hong Kong.

The eight-hand form normally includes a tridandi (a trident made of lotus stalks) in one of his left hands. On this variant, he holds a book, a lotus, a flaming jewel? (not associated with him) and a water pot in his left hands; his main attribute, the noose, is in his upper right hand, followed by a small object resembling a conch, a (missing) tridandi and a lotus bud.

14th-15th century, Nepal, Amoghapasha Lokeshvara, gilt bronze with stone inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s, sale 17719, lot 187, Paris.

14th century, Nepal, Amoghapasha, bronze, private collection, photo by Poly Auction, sale HKM3718  lot 3890.

Nepal, Amoghapasha Lokeshvara (5)

Circa 17th century, Nepal, Amoghapasha, gilt copper, private collection, photo by Castor Hara on http://castor-hara.com

Amoghapasha in his one-head and eight-hand form, holding from top to bottom a book, a noose (pasha), a lotus bud, and a ritual water pot in his left hands, a (missing) rosary, a trident made of three lotus stalks in two of his right hands, the others held in gestures symbolising reassurance and generosity.

17th century, Nepal, Amoghapasha, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Christie’s https://www.christies.com.

A simpler form with six hands, holding a trident, a noose, a water pot in his left hands, a rosary and a missing object which could be a fly whisk or a lotus in the others, the main right hand doing the fear-allaying gesture.

16th century (1554), Nepal, Amoghapasha, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams https://www.bonhams.com.

Amoghapasha with attendants, kinnaras and buddha Amitabha at the top of the arch.

17th century, Nepal, Amoghapasha Lokeshvara, wood, photo by Marie-Catherine Daffos for aaoarts.com http://www.aaoarts.com/asie/enchnepal/04.html .

Apart from the popular eight-arm form, there is a one-head and 4, 6 or 12 hands, although Alice Getty mentions one with 20 hands, and also a three-head form with 2,4, 6 or 12 hands. In all cases there is a noose (pasha) in one of his hands, except in the rare one-head and two-hand form where he does a gesture specific to him. His morphology is different from Avalokiteshvara’s, of which he is generally regarded as an aspect. On the Himalayan Art Resources website, Jeff Watts explains why he considers Amoghapasha to be a separate entity https://www.himalayanart.org/search/set.cfm?setID=568, yet on the Avalokiteshvara main page he is listed as an aspect of Avalokiteshvara https://www.himalayanart.org/search/set.cfm?setID=4822.

 

Nepal, Amoghapasha Lokeshvara (4)

16th century, Nepal, Amoghapasha Lokeshvara, gilt copper alloy, at the Norton Simon Museum (USA).

16th century, Nepal, Amoghapasha Lokeshvara, gilt copper alloy, at the Norton Simon Museum (USA).

Amoghapasha Lokeshvara, with one head and eight hands, his legs rather short and stiff, adorned with heavy jewellery, a sacred thread, ornate belt and sash, holds in his left hands a manuscript, a lotus flower, and a water pot, and  in one of his right hands a trident (normally on the left-hand side on the 8-arm Nepalese version), the other two doing the abhaya and the varada mudras. The noose and rosary are missing.

Same as before, at the British Museum (UK).

Same as before, at the British Museum (UK).

Here he has the book, the trident, the lotus flower and the water pot in his left hands, the (broken) rosary and the noose in two of his right hands, the others displaying the fear-allaying and supreme generosity gestures. The flat round design on his jewellery and belt is typical of the late Malla period, as are the rigid legs and squarish feet.

17th c., Nepal, Amoghapasha, gilt cop., 19,5 cm, rosary, book, noose, trident lotus, lotus, water pot, varada, abhaya, 13090 Tibet har, Sotheby's

17th century, Nepal, Amoghapasha Lokeshvara, gilt copper, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

On this later work, we can see how the tridandi or trident is made of lotus buds. He wears an ornate crown with a large floral motif on each panel, matching bows, earrings, necklace and armbands, a beaded sacred thread, bangles – no anklets. The pointed ends of his belt and sash are decorated with a  jewel, the palm of two of his hands is incised with a diamond, one of them with a flower inside.

17th century, Nepal, Amoghapasha Lokeshvara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie's.

17th century, Nepal, Amoghapasha Lokeshvara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

A similar sculpture, with two kneeling figures (worshippers), one of them holding a sprouting plant (probably a lotus) attached to the base in his right hand and a lotus flower in the other.

17th-18th century, Nepal, Amoghapasha Lokeshvara, gilt copper alloy, at the San Francisco museum

17th-18th century, Nepal, Amoghapasha Lokeshvara, gilt copper alloy, at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum.

Another example with large floral ornaments and a jewel at the end of  the belt and the tips of the sash.

Nepal, Amoghapasha Lokeshvara (3)

Undated, 14th century?, Amoghapasha Lokeshvara, gilt copper or copper alloy, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

Undated, 14th century circa?, Amoghapasha Lokeshvara, gilt copper or copper alloy, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

On this version of his one-head and eight-hand form, the deity holds a manuscript, a trident, a vajra and a water pot in his left hands. There is a rosary and a noose (pasha) in his upper right hands, the remaining two do the abhaya and the varada mudra. He wears a five-leaf crown, bodhisattva jewellery, a long dhoti pleated at the front and a broad sash placed low down.

Same as before.

Same as before.

The absence of profuse gilding and stone inlay also situates this sculpture towards the 14th century. There is a manuscript, a trident, possibly a lotus, and a vajra in his left hands, same as before with the right hands. The dhoti is abundantly pleated on the sides and at the front, with the lower extremities forming three sharp points at ankle level.

15th century, Nepal, Amoghapasha Lokeshvara, gilt copper alloy and stones, private collection, photo by Koller.

15th century, Nepal, Amoghapasha Lokeshvara, gilt copper alloy and gemstones, private collection, photo by Koller.

This gilt and stone-inlaid work portrays him with his head slightly tilted, his hair pulled into a tall chignon topped with a finial, wearing a dhoti with a stone-inlaid hem, probably holding the same (missing) attributes on the right. His top left hand holds a manuscript, the lower ones hold a bow and a pot of water. In his eight-hand form Amoghapasha Lokeshvara usually holds a tridandi ( a trident made of three lotus stalks) in his left hand. It is therefore likely to be the missing object on that side.

15th century circa, Nepal, Amoghapasha Lokeshvara, gilt copper alloy and stones, published on pindoles.com

15th century circa, Nepal, Amoghapasha Lokeshvara, gilt copper alloy and stones, published on pindoles.com.

This is the one-head and six-hand form, with a manuscript, possibly a vajra, a pot of water in his left hands, a noose and a (missing) rosary in his right hands, the lower one extended in the varada mudra.

 

Nepal, Amoghapasha Lokeshvara (2)

14th century, Nepal, Early Malla period, bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara Amoghapasha, polychrome wood, at the Free Sackler Gallery

14th century, Nepal, Early Malla period, bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara Amoghapasha, polychrome shall wood, 162,5 cm, at the Free Sackler Gallery.

This nearly life-size sculpture depicts Amoghapasha Lokeshvara in his one-head eight-hand form (2 arms missing), standing on a small single-lotus pedestal, wearing a five-leaf crown with bows and foliate ribbons, some jewellery, and a lower garment knotted on each side of the waist, held in place with a belt and decorated with a broad sash placed low down the hips. There is an oblong urna on his forehead and lotus bud finial on his tall chignon. The attributes are missing from his hands, the lower right hand does the varada mudra (supreme generosity).

14th-15th century, Nepal, bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara Amoghapasha, wood with gesho, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (USA)

14th-15th century, Nepal, Amoghapasha Lokeshvara, wood with gesso and traces of paint, 175 cm, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (USA).

This life-size one-head and eight-arm version, with most arms broken, is one of a series  that depict him unadorned, with an effigy of Amitabha in his chignon, standing on a small single-lotus pedestal. The above wears a transparent dhoti, of which we only see the waistband marked with a short line below the navel. His lower right hand is extended palm out in the varada mudra and holds a (broken) water pot , the middle finger on the other side points to the ground, the second hand on the right was held out in the abhaya mudra (fear-allaying gesture), as below.

15th century or earlier, Nepal, Amoghapasha Lokeshvara, wood and traces of paint, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (USA).

15th century or earlier, Nepal, Amoghapasha Lokeshvara, wood and traces of paint, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (USA).

On this similar version (169 cm) the lower garment is decorated with broad bands of a different colour. The lower hands do the same gestures as before.

15th century, Nepal, Amoghapasha Lokeshvara, polychrome wood, private collection, published by Carlton Rochell.

15th century, Nepal, Amoghapasha Lokeshvara, polychrome wood, 171,5 cm private collection, published by Carlton Rochell.

This is a one-head and four-hand version, with a tiger skin dhoti around his waist and a small object in the palm of his right hand

Nepal, 12-hand Amoghapasha

11th century circa, Nepal, Amoghapasha, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie's.

11th century circa, Nepal, Amoghapasha, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Particularly worshipped in Nepal, Amoghapasha Lokeshvara is shown here in his rarer one-face and 12-hand form. He wears a single-panel headdress with an effigy of Amitabha at the centre, a sacred thread, a long dhoti, a sash knotted to one side. The absence of jewellery gives it a sobriety proper to the previous Licchavi period. His upper left hand holds a sword, two of the middle ones hold a pot of water, the other two a round object, possibly a jewel. The main right hand does the fear-allying gesture, another two are extended palm out (gesture of supreme generosity), the middle one could be holding a lotus flower and the next one up  a lotus stalk. There is a serrated flaming halo fastened to his back.

11th-12th century, Nepal, Amoghapasha Lokeshvara, gilt copper, photo by Xanadu, also published by Bonhams.

11th-12th century, Nepal, Amoghapasha Lokeshvara, gilt copper, photo by Xanadu, also published by Bonhams.

This is an interesting mixture of Nepalese features, a halo with U-shaped flames seen on works from Jammu and Kashmir, and a double-lotus base with flat pointed petals more proper to Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh. In his left hands there is a manuscript, a triratna (set of three jewels), 2 pots of water, a rosary. Three of his right hands display an incised lotus flower, another one holds a small oval object. His lower garment is richly decorated with bands of incised scrolls and flowers, he wears a sash knotted to one side and a long sacred thread but no jewellery except for a short necklace.

Nepal, Amoghapasha Lokeshvara

Particularly worshipped in Nepal, Amoghapasha, “the unfailing lasso”, may have one to four faces, with 2 to 12 arms. His rope/noose may be extended in the form of a lasso or bound and coiled or sheathed. In Nepal, he may have a tiger skin dhoti and his attributes vary slightly from those seen on Tibetan sculptures.

14th century, Nepal, Amoghapasha, gilt copper alloy, photo by Kapoor gallery.

14th century, Nepal, Amoghapasha, gilt copper alloy, photo by Kapoor gallery.

When depicted with eight hands, one of his left hands normally holds a trident, missing on this example His other left hands hold a water pot, a lotus flower, a book/manuscript. Two of his right hands do the fear-allaying and the generosity gestures, the others hold a folded noose and a (missing) rosary. His short dhoti is incised with a floral motif throughout. His belt, crown, sacred cord and jewellery are inlaid with clear gemstones and turquoise. His Indian-style chignon is topped with a jewel. His sash falls low down in a circular shape, below the sacred cord. He has realistic  knee caps and nipples but rather square feet with short thin toes. The urna on his forehead is rectangular, in the Nepalese fashion. The legs are rigid but the thin waist slants slightly to one side.

Same, gilt copper, photo by Christie's.

Same, gilt copper, photo by Christie’s.

This sculpture shows him with elegant body proportions and a more accentuated slant that will be the mark of the Malla period.

14th-15th century, Nepal, gilt metal, at the Cleveland Museum of Art (USA),

14th-15th century, Nepal, gilt metal, at the Cleveland Museum of Art (USA),

Here, we can see the trident in one of his right hands, the lower one does the gesture of generosity, the upper one holds the noose. His left hands hold a lotus flower, a water pot and a manuscript.

15th century, Nepal, Amoghagpasha, published on pundoles.com

15th century, Nepal, Amoghagpasha, published on pundoles.com

This primitive-looking statue depicts him with a tiger skin tied around his waist, the legs of the animal hanging at the front. Two of his right hands do the generosity and the fear-allaying gesture, the other two hold a noose and a rosary. His left hand hold a water pot, a lotus flower, a trident and a manuscript. He has no jewellery, only a sacred cord. There is an antelope skin over his left shoulder. His hair is tied into a tall Indian-style chignon, except for some long strands that fall on his shoulders.