Vimalakirti and the Doctrine of Nonduality

Wang Zhenpeng Chinese

Not on view

This handscroll depicts an episode from the Vimalakirti Sutra, the Buddhist scripture in which Vimalakirti, a layman, and Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, engage in a theological debate. According to the sutra, Vimalakirti proved the more subtle by remaining silent when asked to explain the ultimate meaning of the Buddhist Law. The subject appealed to China's Confucian elite, for it demonstrated how a cultured layman could surpass even a deity in his understanding of doctrine.

The scroll is a rare example of a preparatory draft, submitted for the approval of the future Emperor Renzong (r. 1311–20) before a final version in color was executed.

#7361. Vimalakirti and the Doctrine of Nonduality

Vimalakirti and the Doctrine of Nonduality, Wang Zhenpeng (Chinese, active ca. 1275–1330), Handscroll; ink on silk, China

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