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Bodhisattva Manjushri in the form of Sita Manjughosa
Thailand; Shrivijayan style (c. 7th - 14th century), late 8th century
Copper alloy
H. 12 1/4 in. (31.1 cm); W. 6 1/8 in. (15.6 cm)
Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art
The lotus held in the left hand of this image of Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, has a book and sword resting atop it. These are Manjushri's traditional attributes, the objects that symbolize his character: the book represents Manjushri's role as the embodiment of transcendent wisdom while the sword is the weapon with which he cuts through ignorance. His right hand, which performs the gift-giving gesture (varada mudra), identifies this form of Manjushri as Sita Manjughosa ("White Gift-bestowing"). His conical hairstyle is adorned with both a crown and with five small images of seated Buddhas, which represent the Buddhas of the five directions. The four lions supporting the pedestal, although a standard element in Buddhist thrones, also represent the vehicle (vahana) associated with Manjushri. The pendant half-moon-shaped form on the front of the pedestal represents draped cloth.
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