The Buddha, seated before a mandorla (an almond-shaped halo that encompasses his entire body) incised with flame motifs. The Buddha's hands are concealed within his robe, in keeping with Chinese customs of decorum, rather than following the Indian practice of showing the hands in an iconographically meaningful gesture.
This small, flat metal piece has a quartrefoil shape. Two holes in the middle. Flame-like incision all over the piece. Silver is applied around the center hole.
Tsuba (sword guard) is inserted between a sword handle and blade to protect hands from sharp blades. The center hole is where the sword is placed. The smaller hole is to insert kozuka, an ornamental stick. This particlar tsuba has incised, overall frame design.
A fragment of a stone slab, originally a facing on the drum of a small stupa, carved with a narrative scene. In this relief, he is converting devotees of the fire god Agni, the three ascetic Kasyapa brothers and their disciples. In this narrative, the Buddha asked to spend the night in the fire temple of Uruvilva Kasyapa. The temple’s fire god worshipers thought the fearsome fire serpent that dwelled within the temple would vanquish the Buddha. Instead, the fiery radiance of the meditating Buddha overwhelmed the serpent, who crawled into the Buddha’s alms bowl; the defeated snake appears in this sculpture below the Buddha. Meanwhile, the dazzling radiance the Buddha emits has been mistaken for flames and a fire brigade using ladders and pots of water has been formed to put out the fire, as can be seen here. Seated in the posture and gesture of meditation, the Buddha’s calm presence is in contrast to the action unfolding around him. The three Kasyapa brothers, with their beards and matted hair, are at the bottom directing it all – two are on the right and the other is seated at the far left.
A narrative scene from the life of Shakyamuni Buddha in which he sits meditating in a hut unperturbed while the fire serpent attempts to burn him—unsuccessfully. According to the Pali canon of Buddhist scriptures, this is one of the earliest miracles performed by the Buddha after his attainment of awakening. He traveled to the banks of the Neranjara River in the country of Magadha, where he met the three Kasyapa brothers, devotees of the fire god Agni. The Buddha requested to stay the night in the hall of the sacred fire. The eldest brother, Uruvilva, allowed him to do so, believing that the fire serpent in the hall would destroy the Buddha. Buddha emerged unscathed from the temple, and the Kasyapas became his disciples, along with their many followers. Buddha preached to them The Fire Sermon, a key text in early Buddhism.
A naked Jina sits on a throne with a naked monk to his left offering praise. A devotee sits in a lotus pond that is surrounded by flames, yet his face appears serene ans he holds his rosary. Two cobras appear next to the flames, with a three in the background.
This is an illustration in a Digambara Jain manuscript of verse 40-41 of the hymn Bhaktamara Stotra.
This illustration seems to combine ideas in verses 40 and 41, which describe the miraculous benefits of the hymn, although it corresponds very closely to the illustration for verse 40 in the manuscript with text. Verse 40 tells us that a violently raging fire is turned into a cool lotus pond by the power of the hymn, while verse 41 says that the name of the Jina is like a magic herb that quiets the most violent cobra when it is poised to attack. The illustration shows the Jina and M?natu?ga in the upper register. Below we see the worshipper holding a rosary, engulfed in flames but seated calmly in a lotus pond. The snake is shown twice, first as it attacks and then as it is turning back.
Vishnu stands with his legs apart holding his four attributes in his hands. Reading in clockwise direction from his right front hand he holds: his club, discus, conch and lotus, here a rather flat object cupped in his palm. His back two arms are extremely short. The figure is encircled with a decorated arch with a line of beads and triangular shaped openings around them. A stylized sun and moon are to either side of Vishnu’s head. He wears a variety of simple, lumpy jewelry at his feet are a horse to his right and a bull or cow to his left and between them are three rings lying flat on the base. At the front of the base are seven stylized horses, identifying this as a combination figure: Vishnu and the sun god Surya, whose chariot is pulled by seven horses.
Vishnu is one of the principal gods of Hinduism, along with Shiva and the goddess, and commands a large following. He is often depicted with four arms and consistently carries four attributes: the discus, conch, club and lotus. The addition of the seven horses at the base lets us know that this is a combination of the god Vishnu and the sun god Surya. This is a common combination in iconographies that try to link many of the older nature gods with the fully developed pantheon of Hinduism.
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.
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.
A portable painting in mineral pigments and gold on a primed cotton ground; the painting is designed to be rolled up when not in use. The painting was folded at some time in its history, resulting in a loss of pigment along two vertical lines.
At the center of this complex composition is a large, white-skinned figure with six arms, each bearing a weapon, and three heads (one white, one blue, and one red, each with three eyes), wearing a helmet: this is Pehar Gyalpo, originally a non-Buddhist spirit invited to Tibet in the eighth century by Guru Padmasambhava to serve as protector of Tibet's first Buddhist monastery, Samye. Pehar is shown astride a snow lion (a white lion with a green mane; the symbol of the Tibetan state). At his fee are three similar wrathful protector deites, mounted (from right to left) on a lion, a horse, and an elephant; two more, both mounted on horses, are in the upper corners. Each of the mounted figures is enveloped in flames, of varying colors. At the very top center of the painting is a portrait of a monk, possibly a representation of Padmasambhava. The entire scene is set in a blue-and-green mountainous landscape.
A bas-relief carving made of bone and in the shape of a lotus petal, depicting a wrathful guardian of the Tibetan Buddhist faith. At the base of the "petal" are the tops of mountains, with the waves of the sea visible between them; in the rounded part of the "petal," a border of flames encircles a dynamic image of the bodhisattva Vajrapani in his wrathful form. The background behind Vajrapani is incised with closely spaced wavy lines, again suggesting flames.
An incised image of Vajrapâni, the "Thunderbolt-bearer," an important bodhisattva in the Tibetan Buddhist faith, depicted in his wrathful form. He has a third eye, and his hair is depicted sweeping up and back as though on fire. He wears an elephant skin on his back (the elephant's head is just visible behond his right knee) and a tiger skin around his loins. He carries a vajra ("thunderbolt"—a pronged scepter) in his right hand. He stands in a dramatic pose (known as the "alida" stance, or "powerful kick"), often seen in wrathful deites, trampling underneath two figures that represent variously enemies of the faith or ignorance and greed.
A bas-relief carving made of bone and in the shape of a lotus petal, depicting Pehar, a guardian of the Tibetan Buddhist faith, in wrathful form. At the base of the "petal" are the tops of mountains, with the waves of the sea visible between them; in the rounded part of the "petal," a border of flames encircles a dynamic image of Pehar, his garments flowing in the wind as he rides on a snow lion. The background behind Pehar is incised with closely spaced wavy lines, again suggesting flames.
An incised image of Pehar Gyalpo, a guardian of the Tibetan Buddhist faith; depicted as a male wearing a helmet and riding on a snow lion.
Pehar is one of a class of fierce deities known as dharmapala, or ‘defenders of the faith.’ His cult dates back to the late eighth century, when Guru Padma Sambhava, an Indian master of meditaion and tantric practices, ‘installed’ Pehar as the protector of Samye, the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet. He is also the deity channeled by the Nechung medium, who acts as the State Oracle of Tibet, and the chief dharmapala of Drepung Loseling Monastery.
Pehar is traditionally shown, as here, with a fierce expression, wearing a helmet, and astride a snow lion (an imaginary creature—which may in turn trample a corpse, although not in this example).