Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Brahma Standing on a Turtle Surrounded by the Four Lokapalas, Guardians of the Cardinal Directions

Anuradhapura period
9th century
Sri Lanka
H. 12 1/2 in. (31.8 cm); W. 3 3/8 in. (8.6 cm); D. 5 1/4 in. (13.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Guardian of the Flame Collection, 2003
Accession Number:
Not on view
The lokapalas stand in each of the four cardinal directions as protectors of both the Buddhist dharma (teachings) and the religious community. Texts speak of monasteries being constructed on grids symbolically marked with these deities, leaving the specific ritual function of these sculptures an open question.

The deity Brahma is Lord of the Center.
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