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Six-armed Bodhisattva Mañjusri, standing, with two celestial attendants

Accession Number
1978/2.109

Title
Six-armed Bodhisattva Mañjusri, standing, with two celestial attendants

Artist(s)
Indian

Artist Nationality
Indian (South Asian)

Object Creation Date
17th century

Medium & Support
bronze

Dimensions
9 7/16 in x 12 3/16 in x 3 9/16 in (24 cm x 31 cm x 9 cm);9 7/16 in x 12 3/16 in x 3 9/16 in (24 cm x 31 cm x 9 cm)

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

Label copy
March 28 2009
Bodhisattva is a Sanskrit term that can be translated as “enlightenment being.” Bodhisattvas are able to escape the endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth known as samsara but choose to remain active in the world to help others along the path to enlightenment. The numerous arms that sometimes radiate from Buddhist images are a simple and effective way of portraying the immense powers of a deity who can achieve many tasks simultaneously. Each object the deity holds indicates specific powers and knowledge. Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, usually holds a sword, with which he destroys ignorance, and a book, which serves as a symbol of his knowledge and profound insight. Here the narrow book (modeled after books made from palm leaves) lies across his upper hand.
(Label for UMMA Buddhist Gallery Opening Rotation, March 2009)

Subject matter
Bodhisattva of Wisdom, Manjushri, with two celestial attendants. Manjushri holds a sword with which he battles ignorance, while the book he holds in his upper hand acts as a symbol of his knowledge and profound insight. The halo of flames surrounding him serve as a marker of his power and divinity.

Physical Description
Mañjusri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, standing with two celestial attendants. This representation of Manjushri includes six arms, one of which holds a sword, while a narrow book (modeled after books made from palm leaves) lays across his upper hand. Manjushri is wearing an ornamented crown and necklace, and is encircled by a halo of flames.

Primary Object Classification
Sculpture

Primary Object Type
statue

Additional Object Classification(s)
Metalwork

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
Buddhism
Himalayan
Vajrayana
bodhisattva
flames
lotus (motif)
swords

4 Related Resources

Buddhism
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
Indian Metalwork
(Part of: Design)
Flames
(Part of: Exchange and Influence on Global Trade Routes)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved

On display