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Large Antique Gilt Bronze Statue
The Buddha of Infinite Life

Circa: Chinese Republic, 1930s'
H 16.5 in.(42cm), W 10.5 in.(27cm), D 8.5 in.(22cm)

Condition : very good!

Amitayus is a manifestation of Amitabha, the Buddha of Boundless Light, in his character as bestower of longevity. In this bright and shining bronze his image is adorned with a magnificent crown, earrings, necklace with pendant and elaborate armbands and he is seated in full lotus on a lotus throne atop a plinth decorated with peacocks, the vehicle of Amitayus, the plinth fronted with a draped banner bearing his symbol, the lotus. The finely cast bronze is stately, emanating quietness and equipoise. Casting is enhanced by hand chasing in the details. The darkly patinated surface of the figure presents a handsome contrast to the polished areas of the garment and highlighted jewels.

Amitayus Buddha
Private Collection

Amitayus holds the ambrosia vase, or tshe bum, his special emblem. From its lid fall four strings of beads representing sacred pills. This vase is used for all life-prolonging ceremonies, in which the consecrated water becomes transformed into an elixir or nectar. In such a ceremony the vase held by Amitayus is connected by a cord to the heart of the officiating priest or monk. Through this cord the life power passes from the divine source to the mortal body. The chanted liturgy describes the process thus: “…it overflows with wavelets of white nectar, which enter into me through the hole of Brahman in the top of my head; it in turn dissolves into the wheel in my heart, with its seed and garland of the mantra; from this there falls a s! tream of nectar which fills up the entire inside of my body and washes its entire outside, so that it cleanses and makes pure all the sins, obscurations, diseases, and impediments to life which I have accumulated from beginningless time; it restores my life and merit and renews the vows and pledges I have broken, and I gain the magical attainment of deathless life.”

Amitayus BuddhaAmitayus Buddha
Amitayus Buddha
Amitayus Buddha
Last BuddhaFuture Buddha

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