Pair of Manuscript Covers with Three Deities and Three Hierarchs


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 253

On the upper cover, Shadakshari Lokesvara is flanked by Maitreya to his right and Avalokiteshvara to his left. Shadakshari is a form of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara who presides over our current age, protecting us and offering a compassionate path to enlightenment. The Dalai Lama is understood to be an incarnation of Shadakshari Lokesvara, and he fosters spiritual knowledge in this form. These three bodhisattvas on the upper cover are paired on the lower cover with Atisha flanked by Tibetan patriarchs, relating the role of these important human figures with those of the divine realm.

Pair of Manuscript Covers with Three Deities and Three Hierarchs, Distemper and gold on wood, Tibet

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