Three Aides To The Buddha Essay

813 WordsMar 6, 20114 Pages
Three aides to the Buddha The sculptures Bodhisattva, King (Tianwang) Trampling Demon, and Shukongo-jin are all examples of the Buddhist art in Pakistan, China and Japan, respectively. Each figure serves as a religious aide to the Buddha, either a promoter or a protector. They range from the peaceful and serene, as in the Bodhisattva, to the terrifying and grotesque as in the Shukongo-jin. All three are highly sculpted, wonderfully expressive and crafted appropriately for their functions. The Bodhisattva stands in quiet contemplation with eyes nearly closed. His face is slightly abstracted and very symmetrical. He seems content with a slight, nearly archaic-smile. He looks as though he is thinking or focusing on his urna, or the dot between his eyes which symbolizes Buddhist wisdom. His head is surrounded by a nimbus or halo suggesting his heightened level of spirituality. The Bodhisattva is adorned with a substantial amount of jewelry which is important to the iconography of the figure. We know he is not the Buddha as he has not given up his material possessions of human life. His body is wrapped in delicate silk robes, which look as though they may flutter gently in the breeze. Reminiscent of the wet drapery look of the Classical Greek period, we are able to make out elements of the figure’s body underneath the fabric. However, the Bodhisattva’s body is not idealized like that of Classical Greek figures, he is fairly realistic. The figure is represented to be in good physical shape, however still maintaining a soft fleshy appearance, particularly apparent in the abdomen and the arms. This Bodhisattva is carved from stone in a fairly high relief, there is great depth to the figure. Unfortunately, the sculpture has been damaged over time and we are unable to see his feet or hands which might have been in a mudra position. This Bodhisattva is

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