Padmapani

DATE:
8th–9th century CE
MATERIAL AND TECHNIQUE:
Gilt bronze
CLASSIFICATION:
Sculpture
DIMENSIONS:
14 1/8 × 4 1/2 × 4 1/4 in. (35.88 × 11.43 × 10.8 cm)
DEPARTMENT:
Arts of Asia
LOCATION:
305 BUDDHIST GALLERY
CREDIT LINE:
Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, grant from the Virginia C. and Floyd C. Ramsey Fund of the Dallas Community Chest Trust Fund, Inc.
OBJECT NUMBER:
1980.45.FA

General Description

This gilt bronze image of the bodhisattva Padmapani ("lotus bearer") shows him as a graceful princely figure endowed with special attributes symbolizing his powers and functions. He is described in the Buddhist canon as the embodiment of the pure, impartial, and limitless compassion of all the buddhas. He holds in his left hand the stem of a white lotus (missing here) that blossoms above his left shoulder, representing his compassionate vow to guide every living being to a state beyond all misery. Amitabha, the buddha of Padmapani's spiritual lineage, resides in his crown. Padmapani lives in Buddha Amitabha's transcendent paradise called Sukhavati. From there he enters the world to rescue living beings from their difficulties and guide them to this paradise where they can attain enlightenment. This role is indicated by Padmapani's right hand, held in the gesture of bestowing excellence This role is indicated by Padmapani's right hand, held in the gesture of bestowing excellence (dana mudra). His graceful pose, known as the triple bend (tribhanga) position, with hips shifted to the right and head slightly tilted, expresses his loving, welcoming attitude toward all beings. He stands on the lotus throne, indicating that he has attained a high state of enlightenment. Padmapani is also known as Avalokiteshvara.

Adapted from

Robert Warren Clark "Padmapani," in The Arts of India, South East Asia, and the Himalayas, Anne R. Bromberg (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art; New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013), 159.

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