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Buddhist Protectress Mahapratisara

Western Indonesia

Not on view

Eight-armed Mahapratisara, a deified magic spell (dharani), is one of myriad Esoteric Buddhist deities that emerged in India during the eighth century as a result of Vajrayana practices. She is represented both as an independent deity and as a member of the Pancaraksa, a group of five spell-goddesses who personified magic formulas for granting longevity and protecting villages. She sits in a yogic mediation posture and displays weapons employed in the Buddhist notion of “cutting away illusions.” There is evidence of a network of monasteries in western Indonesia and the Malay Peninsula, where Esoteric Buddhism was favored.

cat. no. 159

Buddhist Protectress Mahapratisara, Copper Alloy, Western Indonesia

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