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The Buddha Amitâyus, seated in padmasana on a double lotus base, holding a vase of amrita (the elixir of long life)

Accession Number
1980/2.279

Title
The Buddha Amitâyus, seated in padmasana on a double lotus base, holding a vase of amrita (the elixir of long life)

Artist(s)
Tibetan

Artist Nationality
Tibetan (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
18th century

Medium & Support
gilded bronze

Dimensions
5 ⅛ in x 3 ¼ in x 2 3/16 in (13.02 cm x 8.25 cm x 5.56 cm);5 ⅛ in x 3 ¼ in x 2 3/16 in (13.02 cm x 8.25 cm x 5.56 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Leo S. Figiel and Dr. and Mrs. Steven J. Figiel

Label copy
March 28 2009
Amitayus, the Buddha of Immeasurable Life, can be identified by the vase he holds, which contains the elixir of immortality. Meditating on Amitayus is believed to help the practitioner remove impediments to his or her longevity. Although Buddha Shakyamuni is always depicted as clothed in the robes of a monk, buddhas in the expanded pantheon of Tantric Buddhism are usually adorned as princes, with elaborate crowns and jewelry. The hollow spaces on the crown, armbands, and necklace of this image were once inlaid with semiprecious stones. With its original gilding and stones, this sculpture must have glinted in the light of the lamps filled with yak butter that were lit in the course of ritual and prayer.
(Label for UMMA Buddhist Gallery Opening Rotation, March 2009)

Subject matter
The Buddha Amitâyus (Buddha of Boundless Life), holding a vase of amrita, the elixir of long life. Amitayus is one of the many manifestations of Buddhahood found in the Vajrayana pantheon of Himalayan Buddhist practice. He is most often depicted, as here, in sambhoga kaya (the "body of bliss"; an archetypal manifestation), represented by the garb of an earhly prince, with a crown, jewels, long hair, and wearing a dhoti.

Physical Description
A finely cast miniature icon of the Buddha Amitâyus, seated on a double lotus pedestal.

Primary Object Classification
Sculpture

Primary Object Type
statue

Additional Object Classification(s)
Ritual Object

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Buddhas (visual works)
Buddhism
Himalayan
lotus (motif)
miniature (size attribute)

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted