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Central Asian Antiquities

Avalokitesvara

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Avalokitesvara
865 A. D.

Place of Origin: Dunhuang, Gansu, China
Material: Silk Painting
Dimensions: 74 x 59 cm
Acc. No. Ch.00451 (2003/17/352)

Fragment of a banner showing upper part of Avalokitesvara. He wears a rich ornamented crown with Dhyani Buddha as the crest jewel. His right hand holds a willow spray. On the left of Avalokitesvara a rectangular cartouche is shown bearing an inscription which has been written in Chinese characters. The inscription is translated by Waley as below: -

'Praise to the Great Merciful Great Compassionate Saviour from Pain Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva. This single image is offered on behalf of (my) departed mother and father. May their spirits be born in the Paradise (of Amitabha). May (my) journeying soon take me back to my native land and house. May my living friends and relations enjoy prosperity, peace, and comfort. May all living things in the realms of Dharma be equally wetted with ( the dew of ) this good fortune. In a year (with the cyclical signs) chia shen in the eleventh month, this pious work was completed.' 'Dedicated by the Buddhist disciple of pure faith Chang Chung-hsin, with whole heart.' The inscription gives the date of the banner.

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