Khasarpana Avalokiteshvara

Artist/maker unknown, India

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

12th century


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

Curatorial Department:
Indian and Himalayan Art

Object Location:

* Gallery 231, Asian Art, second floor

Accession Number:

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

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left leg folded [x]   matted coiffure with amitabha in front? [x]   right leg hanging down [x]  

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This master carving from the region of 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 mouth of the tiny demon Suchimukha (needle-mouth). The other hand, now broken, formerly clasped the stem of a lotus. The typical pixie-like facial features, sinuous body, and crisp carving of Orissa link this Buddhist image with the Hindu sculpture of Karttikeya to the left, showing that different religious communities in India often shared the same style of carving and even the same artists.

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