Bodhisattva In Royal Ease (Lalitsana)
Item No. 17014
18th - 19th Century, N/A, China
Lacquer over Wood with Gilt
32" x 19" x 11.5"
( 81.28 x 48.26 x 29.21 cm)
(H x W x D)
Guanyin sits in lalitsana, her right knee bent and raised with her right arm elegantly languishing on top of the knee. Her left hand is braced slightly behind her on her backless throne with a bracelet at the wrist. A scarf hangs over her shoulders, and she is bejeweled with beaded pearls hung in three strands at her neck and around her waist. Her full face radiates light with her partially closed eyes, arched eyebrows and full smiling lips. Bangles adorn her wrists and elbows, attesting to her regal status as the bodhisattva who presides over the material as well as spiritual world in this imperial manifestation. Her status as a regal being is enhanced by the gold pigmentation which covers her body and ornately draping robes which extend to just above her bare feet. Her elegance is enhanced by her graceful hands and rich and the deeply carved drapery of her sumptuous robes.
Her arched crown is centered in what might be a vial in which case this image would be Mahasthamaprapta (meaning “He who has obtained Great Power” in Sanskrit), a bodhisattva who represents the power of wisdom and is believed to open people's eyes to the need to strive for awakening (Bodhi). This bodhisattva, who can be male or female, but in China is more commonly female, applies her great energy, wisdom and compassion to the salvation of all beings. In most traditions in Asia, Mahasthamaprapta sows the seeds of the mind of wisdom. She is primarily worshipped in the Pure Land form of Mahayana Buddhism practiced in East Asia in which she and Guanyin are the main attendants to the Buddha Amitabha.