Circa 6th century, Nepal, Maitreya and Vajrapani, stone, at the Nakhachuk Bahal, Nakhachuk Tole, Patan (Nepal), photo on the Huntington Archive
The Huntington Archive gives us the rare opportunity to see this stone shrine from the Licchavi period, in situ and intact. The figure on the first image looks like the historical buddha holding a piece of his robe in his left hand but, being part of a set of four bodhisattvas, represents Maitreya, the future buddha. On the next picture is Vajrapani, whose attribute is placed upright on the lotus he holds in his left hand.
Circa 6th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara and Manjushri, stone, at the Nakhachuk Bahal, Nakhachuk Tole, Patan (Nepal), photo on Huntington archive as before.
Avalokiteshvara holds a lotus in his left hand, the right displays supreme generosity as for the previous figures. Finally, Manjushri does the teaching gesture (‘turning the wheel of dharma’) with both hands. This iconography is not normally associated with him when standing except in Nepal, in which case his has in his left hand the stem of a blue lotus that supports a book. The above also has the stem of a blue lotus in his right hand, to support the hilt of a sword.
Undated, Nepal, Akashagarbha, stone, Ilanicaitya, Patan, photo in Stone Mandalas in Nepal by Adalbert J. Gail
Part of a set of eight bodhisattvas in a stone dharmadatumandala (devoted to Manjushri), this sculpture depicts Akashagarbha showering jewels with the right hand and holding the stem of a lotus that supports three round gems (triratna). Above him, Kirtimukha devours a snake, as is usual in Nepalese art.
Lokeshvara, stone, as above.
Avalokiteshvara holds three crystal-like jewels before his chest and a lotus in his left hand.
Maitreya, stone, as above.
Although the triple gem is not one of his attributes, this bodhisattva is thought to be Maitreya, holding in his left hand the stem of a lotus topped with a wheel.
Samantabhadra, stone, as above.
Samantabhadra normally holds a blue lotus supporting a jewel or a sun disc in his left hand. Identification is further complicated due to the fact that the eight sculptures are not in the expected position on the mandala according to textual description. The author suggests this figure is Samantabhadra, holding in his left hand a lotus supporting the hilt of a sword (Manjushri’s would be in his right hand).
Manjushri, stone, as before.
Manjushri is clearly identified by the manuscript on the lotus in his left hand and the (broken) sword in his right hand.
Ksitigarbha, stone, as before.
Kshitigarbha may hold the stem of a lotus supporting a magic jewel in his right hand while the left hand is in the gesture of supreme generosity. This character does the gesture with his right hand and his lotus supports what seems to be part of a flaming sword.
Vajrapani, stone, as before.
Vajrapani clutches his attribute at heart level and holds the stem of a lotus supporting three large prongs.
Probably Sarvanivaranaviskambhin, stone, as before.
This deity with a five-naga hood must be the last of the ‘eight great bodhisattvas’, Sarvanivarana Vishkambhin. The author interprets the S-shaped object on the lotus in his right hand as being perhaps a noose while pointing out that his banner with a visvajra his not represented (instead, he holds another lotus topped with a flaming jewel).