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Image of a Lohan Holding a Sutra
Item No. 16554

19th - 20th Century, Buddhist, China
Wood with Polychrome
17.5" x 10" x 6"
( 44.45 x 25.4 x 15.24 cm)
(H x W x D)

This image represents a lohan, the Chinese term for Arhat that refers to the original 16 disciples of the Buddha (which later was expended to 18 disciples in China) who followed the Eightfold Path and, through their spirituality and study of Buddhism, achieved enlightenment and a superior understanding of the universe. They are referred to as Worthy Ones or Enlightened Beings and are regarded as semi-deities in Mahayana Buddhism in Northern Asia, including China and Tibet.

Images of lohans, such as this, are often depicted as monks dressed in simple robes crossed at the neck. This image has the shaved head of a monk, almond shaped eyes cast down in a serene expression of meditative concentration, and elongated earlobes symbolizing his extraordinary wisdom and spiritual advancement. . He reverently carries a book representing the sutras with both hands and holds it out as if presenting it to the viewers of the statue and reinforcing it as a symbol of his primary role as preserver and dissemination of the teachings of Buddhism.

The lohan sits in padmasana (the lotus position) with his legs crossed and covered by his robes atop a lotus seat. As a major symbol of Buddhism, the lotus represents the potential of sentient beings to rise above the muck and all earthly desires to blossom to their full capacity as compassionate and spiritual beings. Lotus seats are used only for enlightened beings such as Buddhas, bodhisattvas and lohans.

The statue is sensitively carved and colored with rich polychrome hues.

Select for detailed information about Lohan (Arhats) in Chinese Buddhist Art.

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