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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, Bihar or Bengal; Pala period (c.8th - 12th century), late 11th - early 12th century
H. 37 1/2 in. (95.3 cm)
Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art
Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, can be identified by the large lotus he holds in his left hand and by the image of a seated Buddha, Amitabha, in his headdress. This composition illustrates the belief that Avalokiteshvara feeds even beings known as "hungry ghosts" as a symbol of his compassion for all living creatures. Because of lustful and greedy acts in former lives, hungry ghosts suffer from insatiable hunger, but they have tiny mouths and narrow necks and can't satisfy their bloated stomachs. Directly underneath Avalokiteshvara's outstretched right hand, which is held in the gesture of gift-giving, sits a hungry ghost known as Suchimukha. Suchimukha, whose name means "needle-nosed," is being fed by drops of nectar which flow from Avalokiteshvara's fingers.
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