Gilt copper alloy
H. 13 1/4 x W. 5 x D. 4 3/4 in. (H. 33.7 cm)
Asia Society, New York: Estate of Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller, 1992.3
Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, can be identified by the small seated image of the Buddha Amitabha, his spiritual progenitor, in his crown. He stands in a relaxed posture, his right hand in the gesture of bestowing blessings. The long cord that runs from his left shoulder and across his right thigh represents a sacred thread and symbolizes Avalokiteshvara's high social and religious status. By about the 6th century C.E., he had become the most popular bodhisattva in Buddhism.