Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara

Southern Thailand

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 245

This bodhisattva of compassion is represented as an ascetic, dressed in a waistcloth secured with a cord, the details incised into the contours of his torso. He has a flayed antelope skin (ajina) across his left shoulder, an attribute of the earliest representations of this bodhisattva in early seventh-century northern India. The cult of Avalokiteshvara assumed special importance in Mahayana Buddhism during this period. Soon after its development in India, it was shared with Southeast Asian practitioners.

cat. no. 133

Bodhisattva  Avalokiteshvara, Sandstone, Southern Thailand

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