Khasarpana Avalokiteshvara

Artist/maker unknown, Indian

Made in Odisha, India, Asia
Possibly made in Chauduar, Odisha, India, Asia

Medieval Period

12th century


31 3/4 x 15 1/2 x 9 inches (80.6 x 39.4 x 22.9 cm)

Curatorial Department:
South Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the Joseph E. Temple Fund, 1941

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This master carving from Odisha (formerly Orissa) in the far eastern part of India depicts the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, the embodiment of infinite compassion, in his form as Khasarpana. In keeping with Buddhist texts, he sits with one leg folded, the other hanging down and supported by a lotus footstool. In his unending mercy, Avalokiteshvara drips nectar from his right hand, lowered in the boon-giving gesture, into the beak-like mouth of the tiny demon Suchimukha (literally “needle-mouth”). The other hand, now broken, formerly clasped the stem of a lotus. The triangular face, sinuous body, and crisp carving are typical of images from Odisha.