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Sculpture from the Kushan Period
Sculpture from North India, 5th-7th Centuries
Jain sculpture
Sculpture of the Pala Period
Stone Sculpture from Hindu Temples
Sculptures from South India, 8th-9th Centuries
Bronze Sculpture of the Chola Period
Art for the Mughal and Rajput Courts
Hindu Temple Hangings
Buddhist Painting from India, Nepal, and Tibet
Buddhist Painting from India, Nepal, and Tibet
Sculpture from Nepal
Sculpture from the Kushan Period
Two Bodhisattvas from Sri Lanka
Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara in the Form of Khasarpana Lokeshvara
India, Bengal; Pala period (c.8th - 12th century), late 11th - early 12th century
H. 54 3/4 in. (139.1 cm)
Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art
This large stone image of the Khasarpana, or "Sky-Gliding" form of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, once decorated an architectural niche. He conforms precisely to his description in Buddhist textual sources: he is youthful, peaceful, smiling, has two arms, and wears his hair in a tall, matted coiffure. He demonstrates his compassion for all living beings by holding his right hand in the gift-bestowal gesture above a "hungry ghost." Because of lustful and greedy acts in former lives, hungry ghosts are doomed to an existence in which they suffer from insatiable hunger, but they have tiny mouths and narrow necks and can't satisfy their bloated stomachs. Avalokiteshvara feeds a hungry ghost who kneels beneath him (on the far left of the pedestal) with drops of nectar which flow from his fingers.
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