Dainichi, the Cosmic Buddha (Mahavairocana)


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 224

Dainichi Nyorai—referred to in Sanskrit as Mahavairocana Tathagata—is the Supreme Buddha of the Cosmos from which the entire universe emanates, and the central object of devotion in Esoteric sects of Buddhism. Here, Dainichi appears in a form known as Ichiji Kinrin, or “One-Syllable Golden Wheel,” one of the Five Supreme Buddha Attendants. Dainichi’s hands form the chiken-in, or “wisdom fist” mudra, with the left index finger surrounded by the fingers of the right hand. This gesture has the power to restrain passions that hinder enlightenment and expresses the union of spiritual and material realms of being. The graceful proportions of the sculpture come from its having been carved and assembled in sections (yosegi-zukuri), a technique that began in the late Heian period.

#8825. Dainichi Nyorai (Mahavairocana)



  1. 8825. Dainichi Nyorai (Mahavairocana)
  2. 123. The Director's Tour, Second Floor: Dainichi Nyorai (Mahavairocana), Part 1
  3. 5872. The Director's Tour, Second Floor: Dainichi Nyorai (Mahavairocana), Part 2
Dainichi, the Cosmic Buddha (Mahavairocana), Wood with lacquer and gold leaf, Japan

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