Avalokiteshvara Padmapani – The "Lotus Bearer"
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India and Nepal
Orientation 2
Display 1

ABS 015

 Code: ABS 015

  Country: India (north-west)

  Style: Swat

  Date: 650 - 750

  Dimensions in cm WxHxD: 13.5 x 23.5 x 10.5

  Materials: Brass: eyes and urna are inlaid with silver

Avalokiteshvara Padmapani – The "Lotus Bearer"

This amazing statue represents the bodhisattva of compassion Avalokiteshvara under his aspect of Padmapani and is one of the finest surviving images of the Swat region. Avalokiteshvara is seated in the ease posture on a broad petal, constricted double lotus pedestal, his right foot resting on a smaller lotus flower. With his right hand, he holds prayer beads and in his left, the stem of a lotus flower originally blossoming above his shoulder, now unfortunately lost. Avalokiteshvara is clad with a cloth draped in folds and tied around his waist with a beaded belt. Over his left shoulder he carries the hide of an antelope. A small image of Buddha Amitabha in his crown of hair confirms the identity of this bodhisattva. His thin, elongated eyes and the urna on his forehead are inlaid with silver, contrasting with his brown skin.

Avalokiteshvara is one of the most revered bodhisattvas. He personifies the compassion of all buddhas. In Tibet, his mantra "Om Mani Padme Hum" is recited on all occasions. He is the patron deity of Tibet, and the Dalaï Lama is considered his manifestation.

Bodhisattvas are "heroes for the awakening". They are advanced practitioners who are motivated by compassion, and who strive to help all sentient beings to attain liberation on their path to perfect Buddhahood. Their royal adornments symbolise the quality of their spiritual realisation.