Avalokita's vase

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Nov 22 13:20:07 UTC 1999

>There are a few incidents in "Journey to
>the West" (Hsi Yu Chi) where Kuan yin is
>depicted as using the nectar to revive
>something that has been destroyed or damaged.

     Thanks, i have the Shambala pub. translation of
  The Journey to the West.

>Similarly, in John Blofeld's book "Bodhisattva
>of Compassion", the Appendix ("The Principal
>Iconographic Forms of the Bodhisattva") states:
>"Her principal emblems are a precious vase held
>in one hand and a willow spray held in another,
>symbolising respectively 'sweet dew' (also known
>as amrta) meaning the nectar of wisdom and
>compassion, and secondly her willingness to
>sprinkle it upon the heads of all who invoke
>her aid."

Have Blofeld too. An art historian, D. Sanford
once told that may be because the willow is the first tree to
sprout leaves in the spring season, a sign of life.
Girls being willow-like etc., is in Chinese art for
a long time.

I guess the karaka/kamaNDalu (and akshamAlA) of the
more ascetic natured (Indian) Avalokitezvara gets a little change
there. Hope someone in the list will enlighten me on the vase
in Indian Avalokita conception. Probably in Saadhanamaalaa
or Bhattacharya, Elements of Buddhist iconography. (?).
Avalokita's abode is Mt. Potalaka which was identified
as Mt. Potiyil(Malaya) by Hsuan Tsang and another Chinese
encyclopaedia writer.

N. Ganesan

Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list