"Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives. That we are dying, then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows." ~ Pope Paul VI
Torso of Bodhisattva, probably Avalokiteshvara, ca. 6th century. Southern India. Lent by Victoria and Albert Museum, London (IM.300-1914) | This bronze discovered in Thailand and related works recovered in Java and Borneo form a coherent class of object and are unlikely to have been locally cast, suggesting a widespread diffusion of the late Amaravati style of southern India. #LostKingdoms
Mahapratisara, the Buddhist Protectress, 10th century. India (Bihar). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.| Female bodhisattvas like this Tara were becoming increasingly important to the Buddhist communities of North India. In her lower left hand she holds a palm leaf manuscript suggesting she may have been understood as a manifestation of this text or the very embodiment of Buddhist ideology. #Buddhism
This palm leaf manuscript illustration was done in the 12th century at one of the great monastic centers in North India. This Green Tara, shown bestowing boons, is only 2 ¼ inches tall. It is amazing how the artist has managed to subtly depict this dynamic figure in great detail. Such imagery went on to have a great impact on the emerging painting traditions of Tibet.
Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara Amoghapasha, late 8th–early 9th century. Western Indonesia. Lent by a private collection. | In this eight-armed form, Avalokiteshvara is known as Amoghapasha, “he whose noose is unfailing,” after the noose (pasha) he uses to remove impediments to enlightenment. #LostKingdoms
Chakrasamvara Mandala, ca. 1100. Nepal. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Rogers Fund, 1995 (1995.233) | This mandala, or ritual diagram, is conceived as the palace of the wrathful Chakrasamvara and his consort Vajravarahi, seen together at the center of the composition. These deities are important to the Newar tradition of Nepal as well as in Tibet, embodying the esoteric knowledge of Buddhist texts, the Yoga Tantras. #Buddhism