Antique Indonesian Style Javanese Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva Statue - 42cm/17"
Measures (Height) 42cm/17"
An Indonesian Javanese style Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva. Avalokiteshvara is the earthly manifestation of the self-born eternal Buddha Amitabha. He guards the world in the interval between the departure of the historical Buddha, Gautama, and the appearance of the future buddha, Maitreya.
Bodhisattva are beings who have gained enlightenment but postpone their ascension to nirvana to help others achieve the blessed state. This fabulous sculpture depicts Lord Avalokiteshvara seated on his vehicle the calf-bull Nandin itself placed upon an elaborate high throne. His right leg rests on a lotus blossom.
His right hand forms the Darma wheel, which, at its most basic, represents the study of the dharma, practice through meditation, and moral discipline. This hand gesture is known as the Dharmachakra mudra. The mudra represents the turning of the wheel and places the hands so that the thumbs and index fingers touch at the tips to form a wheel. This mudra symbolises one of the most important moments in the life of Buddha, the occasion when he preached to his companions the first sermon after his Enlightenment in the Deer Park at Sarnath. It therefore denotes the setting into motion of the Wheel of the teaching of the Dharma. In this mudra the thumb and index finger of both hands touch at their tips to form a circle. This circle represents the Wheel of Dharma, or in metaphysical terms, the union of method and wisdom.
The lowered left hand makes the boon bestowing gesture (varada mudra). The Avalokiteshvara is seated on a substantial throne, with decorated parapet and mandala on its base. The mandala represents an imaginary palace that is contemplated during meditation.
The golden Avalokiteshvara is shown in the Indonesian ormolu style, contrasting perfectly with the malachite patina of his throne. His eyes are downcast, his compassionate face bestowing peace, blessings and inner serenity on his devotees. Upon his head he wears a decorative Javanese style tiara in front of his Kirita-Makuta or tall conical crown. This symbolises control over Positive and Negative attitudes.
Provenance: Ex- private Boston, MA, USA collection. All items are guaranteed to be as described. A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all purchases upon request.
Scholarly Reference: New York Metropolitan Museum Collection - Accession Number: 2004.259
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A deity of contradictions, Shiva the Destroyer has a tumultuous history which is reflective of his many responsibilities and characterisations. His importance over the universe, but also his personality, make him a popular choice in Hindu art.