4. Bodhisattva
Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 9:26AM
[chuck] in Art, Avalokiteshvara, Dharma, Philadelphia Museum of Art, bodhisattva

I wouldn't have known without the label. This beautifully rendered sandstone statue from late 7th century Cambodia (Khmer Empire, pre-Angkor Period), sans multiple arms, layers of necklaces, flowing white robes, vase of pure water, wish-granting jewel, or willow branch, and of ambivalent sexuality - is Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion (see Quan ─ém, Om Mani Padme Hum) and one of the most widely revered archetypes in Mahayana Buddhism.

"Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva doing deep Prajna Paramita
perceived the emptiness of all five conditions,
and was freed of pain..."

-The Heart of the Perfection of Great Wisdom Sutra 

[NOTE: Those who are visiting Bodhisattva Week for the first time can find some context here].

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