rAjalIlAsana in Cambodia?

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Apr 29 14:30:42 UTC 1999

>There are several early  (7th c.) Miroku (jp. Maitreya) in a rajalila
>pose. It was quite a common pose for early Korean and Japanese
>Maitreya.  One well known wooden image from Chuguji, a convent
>associated with Horyuji, is illustrated in P. Mason, History of
> Japanese Art. It is pretty much a copy of a slightly earlier Korean
> sculpture. If you start searching I think you will be overwhelmed
> with small Korean bronzes.

  As you already know, these Miroku Bosatsu-s are NOT what I
  am looking for. These beautiful Maitreyas in the contemplating
  posture are different from Guanyins in rAjalIlAsana. Examples of
  rajalilasana Guanyins are many, one famous polychromed wooden
  piece is at Nelson-Atkins (Kansas City), Art Inst. of Chicago
  has a few, some in British museum, one metal guanyin without
  a crown is at Oxford. In rAjalIlAsana, no hand is reaching the
  face at all; Whereas in Mirokus of Korea and Japan, the chin
  is resting on the back of the palm, (sometimes, the face and
  palm are very close though not touching). Also, in Mirokus,
  one leg is placed on top of the other leg, this isn't the
  case for r. avalokitezvaras.

  While we are at it, did the contemplative  Miroku (Maitreya)
  Bodhisattva from Korea and Japan ever influence Auguste Rodin's
  masterpiece, "The Thinker". Admittedly, 'The Thinker' created by
  Rodin in more masculine compared to the feminine Miroku.
  However, mudra of the 'chin resting on the hand' is the same.

  >>> What are you working on, sounds interesting.

  The GaNDavyUha portions point to Mt. Potalaka in the
  Southern extremity of India (J. Fontein,  The pilgrimage of
  Sudhana and Lokesh Chandra), and Hsuan Tsang locates Mt. Potalaka
  in malaya mountains very descriptively. Right after Hsuan Tsang,
  the monk Chih Sheng also independently locates Potalaka
  in Malaya mountains. My hope is to publish the sculptural
  material of the Avalokita residing in Mt. Potalaka sculptures
  from Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka (excavated from Mahayana monasteries),
  Java,  Champa, South China, .... The traditional location of
  Mt. Potalaka in South India (GaNDavyUha and Hsuan Tsang),
  The spread of Pallava school to Ceylon (D. K. Dohanian) and
  South East Asia, Chinese looking for Guanyin models
  from South India and Ceylon have to do a lot with the particular
  rAjalIlAsana Avalokitas seated in the cavern of Mt Potalaka.
 God willing, I will do it with  the guidance of a well known art

  BTW, the contemplative Miroku Bosastu posture has earlier Kashmiri
  parallels. Look at p.195, J. C. Harle, The art
  and architecture of the Indian subcontinent (the Asia
  society, Bodhisattva Padmapani, 7th/8th century).
  Compare with:
  I could not so far find rAjalIlAsana avalokitas from
  North India earlier than those from Nagapattanam and
  Ceylon! Similar to these r. Avalokita-s, we have Pallava Kings
  and Pallava Dakshinamurtis.

  Summary: I have to expand on Art Basham's guess:
  The Dakshinamurti and Avalokita sculptures in rAjalIlasana
  essentially started in Pallava era and mutually influenced each
  other.  Hoping to show enough  sculptural and textual material.

  Please let me know of any rAjalIlAsana avalokitezvara sculptures
  from Cambodia, Korea and/or Japan? Thanks in advance.

  N. Ganesan

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