Illuminated page of the Prajnaparamita-Sutra – Buddha in worship
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ABM 032

 Code: ABM 032

  Country: Tibet (west)

  Style: Purang-Guge Kingdom

  Date: 1000 - 1100

  Dimensions in cm WxHxD: 34 x 17.5

  Materials: Distemper on paper

Fragment of a manuscript folio of the Prajñaparamita-sutra – Buddha in worship

This manuscript paper folio fragment belongs the Prajñaparamita-sutra or “Perfection of transcendent wisdom.” Written in Tibetan capital letters, it is decorated with a large illumination. The image represents a kneeling Buddha, hands joined in worship, placed in an iridescent orb and sitting on a lotus flower and an elaborate throne. Above the crossbeam supported by pillars of the Corinthian type are two makara sea monsters, whose flaming swirling tails form the arch of the throne. A small squatting dark blue character is placed at the top, holding a golden umbrella with his hands. The illustrations shows strong Kashmiri influence and places the production in Western Tibet.

Literature about the Prajñaparamita, or “perfection of transcendent wisdom,” is fundamental in the emergence of Mahayana Buddhism also known as “Great Vehicle.” These texts emphasize wisdom or transcendent knowledge that leads to the perception of the true nature of phenomena, in order to realize Buddhahood. In doing so, they deal extensively with emptiness as the ultimate nature of all phenomena. They also highlight the way of the bodhisattva, promoted as the ideal of the Buddhist