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Thousand Armed Kuanyin

Chinese Gilt Wood Buddha Statue
Thousand Armed Bodhisattva
Chinese Republics, Circa: 1900S'
H 20" (50cm.), W 16" (41cm.), D 10" (25cm.)
Condition: excellent!

Private Collection


A resplendent serene gilt wood thousand-armed Kuanyin, embodiment of compassion, with a crown of five heads representing the five Dhyani Buddhas surmounted by the ascendent head of Amitabha Buddha, of whom she is an emanation; seated upon a delicately carved double lotus throne adorned in gracefully falling robes, sacred cord and a rosary with which she calls upon the Buddha for succor. In her rear right hand is the dhwoja, the banner of the victory of Buddhism, the left hand holds a staff surmounted by a stupa, symbol of the Buddhist universe.

The forward hands are pressed together in Namaskar mudra, the special gesture associated with the thousand armed Boddhisattva. The lower hands are joined in meditation position holding a precious vase symbolizing the nectar of compassion and wisdom. Individually carved arms display an array of attributes; the aureole of arms and hands surrounding her is carved to show an eye in the palm of each hand, the better to search out the needs of suffering sentient beings.

Kuan Yin was about to enter heaven but paused on the threshold as the cries of the world reached her ears. As a true Enlightened One, she vowed to remain in the earthly realms and not enter the heavenly worlds until all other living things have completed their own enlightenment and thus become liberated from the pain-filled cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. Her name means "she who harkens to the cries of the world."

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