- Museum number
- Object: Bodhisattva
Torso from an image of a standing Bodhisattva. The uttarīya, in the narrow mode, visible between the right arm and side, runs under the shoulder loop from the left arm and hangs in distinct drapery below. The folds are dense, and some string-like. Little more than the girdle survives from the paridhāna. The torso has rounded breasts and nipples and the hip juts slightly on the right; the navel is distinct above the soft rounding of the abdomen. The narrow collar appears set with mainly triangular stones and the chain necklace of multiple strands has a large, faceted, cylindrical bead between horned heads at the end of cylindrical terminals. On the right arm is part of an armlet.
- Production date
Diameter: 8.50 centimetres
Height: 15.70 centimetres
Width: 15.70 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Zwalf 1996:
The rough working at the back of this figure makes it likely that it was a small cult object, perhaps, judging by the position of the arms so far as they survive, of Maitreya in abhaya and holding a water pot, and with the lesser number of body ornaments sometimes seen on this Bodhisattva (see 1902.0520.2 and 1902.1002.8).
The Buddhist cult in Gandhāra involved figures of princely aspect who are taken to be Bodhisattvas, that is, Buddhas-to-be, among whom, however, the only one iconographically distinct to us is the commonly found Maitreya. Although he became prominent in the Mahāyāna with other great Bodhisattvas, Maitreya can be connected with an older scheme of successive Buddhas in which the latest is Śākyamuni, whose successor, Maitreya, in the interim reigns in the Tuṣita heaven. His messianic character has been seen as reinforced by Iranian influences to which Northwestern Buddhism may reasonably have been exposed. His usual attributes are the right hand in abhaya mudra and the pendent water-pot held by the neck in the other. The seated Maitreya may also be in dhyāna with the pot suspended by the neck held between fingers of the superimposed hands. He is also recognised making the preaching gesture, when the water-pot he thus cannot hold appears enshrined and under worship on his base. Maitreya is apparently never turbaned.
The Bodhisattvas wear two garments. One, following modern usage, called dhotī, or in Sanskrit paridhāna, is an oblong cloth draped round the waist and so that one of the short sides falls on the left in rounded or pointed ends. A covered girdle may be doubled by another, visible and ornamental. The other, upper, garment, the uttarīya, a long, wide, rectangular piece, is worn is various ways. In a very common style, the uttarīya lies over the left shoulder and on the upper arm and is draped across the back, over the right forearm to hang usually in a low curve below the waist before running in the narrow mode to the left shoulder, where it is wound in one or two loops passing under the armpit.
- Not on display
- 1.Grey schist, broken.
2.Irregularly broken at neck, below waist, behind proper left arm and along right arm.
3.Back with horizontal chisel grooves.
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Collected by Sir Edward Clive Bayley.
- Registration number