alice getty - the gods of northern buddhism

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THE GODSOP

NORTHERN BUDDHISM

OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESSLONDON

EDINBURGH

GLASGOW

NEW YORKM.A.

TORONTO

MELBOURNE

BOMBAY

HUMPHREY MILFORD

PUBLISHER TO THE UNIVERSITY

THE GODSOF

NORTHERN BUDDHISMTHEIR HISTORY, ICONOGRAPHY AND PROGRESSIVE EVOLUTION THROUGH THE NORTHERN BUDDHIST COUNTRIESBY

ALICE GETTYli

WITH A GENERAL INTRODUCTION ON BUDDHISMTRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH OFJ,

DENIKER

DOCTEUR ES SCIENCES

ILLUSTRATIONS FROM THE COLLECTION OF

HENRY

H.

GETTY

OXFORDAT THE CLARENDON PRESS1914

To

v-

*

*

-

,*

AUTHOR'S PREFACEIt of theis difficult for

Mahayana

are unacquainted with the iconography of the gods Pantheon to realize the degree of interest that may be attached

those

who

to even a crude representation of a Northern Buddhist divinity. To the uninitiated the images of these deities are only of value as works of art, or as grotesque curios, with their various heads and many arms but to the initiated, fund for study apart from their artistic merit, they furnish an almost inexhaustible;

and research. The most accurate source of informationdivinities has

in regard to the

Northern Buddhist

been found in the sadhana, or texts of invocations of the gods, in which of all the gods of they are described with much detail. Unfortunately, sadhana the Mahayana Pantheon have not as yet been discovered, and there remain a numberof deities about

very little is known. At any moment, however, a flood of light may be thrown on these obscure divinities, for, among others, Mr. Ekai Kawaguchi in Tibet disguised as a Chinese (a Japanese Buddhist priest who spent three years

whom

monk)

is

translating some valuable manuscripts which he succeeded in carrying outdeities

of Tibet.

The study of the iconography of the Northern Buddhistinfancy.subject,

is

therefore in its

Withandit

the exception of a few erudite books,is

little

has been written on the

only by persistent research, and by a comparative study of the examples in the museums of Europe, India, and Japan, as well as in the temples of the Northern Buddhist countries, that one can arrive at a comprehensive knowledgeof these gods and of their evolution during the process of transmission from India via Chinese Turkestan (and later, through Tibet) to China, Mongolia, and Japan.

The Tibetan and Mongolian lamas, from whom one would expect to get much valuable information, are, unfortunately, with few exceptions, more versed and as Tibet is in the tenets of their religion than in the iconography of their gods:

stillis

'a forbidden land', intercourse with the Tibetan lamas in their

own country

practically impossible.

Among

the Japanese Buddhist priests, however, there are

some very learned men.

Through the kindness of the late Professor Arthur Lloyd, whose death has recently deprived Japan of one of its greatest authorities on Japanese Buddhism, I was put into communication with Mr. S. Tachibana, Buddhist priest and Sanskrit I have also to thank Sramana scholar, who has kindly made many researches for me.

Kawaguchi of Benares, Sramana Jeshu Oda, Rector of the ChomojiMonastery atNagoya, and Mr. Hanazono of Tokyo, for their help in making certain researches possible.

3G0426

vi

AUTHOR'S PREFACEI

reading through not a Sanskrit scholar, in revising the marking of my the letters in the Sanskrit words used in the text. I am also much indebted tospecial

owe

thanks to M. A. Foucher for his kindness

in

manuscript and, as I

am

him, as well as to Sir Aurel Stein, explorer in Central Asia, to Herr von Le Coq, explorer in Chinese Turkestan and attached to the Museum fur Volkerkunde, Berlin,as well as to Mr. E. Denison Ross, officer in charge of the Records of the Government of India, and philological secretary of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, for their kindnessopportunities of studying Buddhist temple paintings, frescoes, and miniatures which are not accessible to the general public. initiation into the intricacies of the Mahayana system I owe to M. J.in giving

me

My

Deniker, whose general study on the vast and complicated doctrine of Buddhism in its various ramifications will form a sufficient introduction to the subject for thegeneral reader, and will enable him to approach with a fair measure of equipment the detailed discussion of the individual deities, their symbols and characteristics, foundin the following pages.

book under the protection of the goddess Sarasvati. May she inspire her consort Manjusn to draw his sword of Wisdom and cleave the clouds ofI place'

my

'

Ignorance

so that in time the

West may come

to a clearer understanding of the East.

A.Paris, March 1913.

GETTY.

II.

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONSPLATE

FACING PAGEa.b.

XI.

Suddha.

height 15 in. Jain. Gautama Buddha seated on a seven-headed Naga.

Bronze

;

Slate

;

height 8

in.

Cam-

bodian.

XII.

a.

Gautama Buddha, Gandhara School. Slate height 2 in. Indian. Presented to the author by Mme. Michel. The Parinirvana of the Buddha. Wood, gold lacquer, and painted shrine

Head

of

;

18

;

height 10b.

in.;

Japanese.

Manjusri.

Wood

height 1

in.

Stand and cover of flamingheight 10in.

pearl, gold

c.

Japanese. lacquer. Juntei Kwan-non. Wood, gold lacquer, painted shrine

;

in.

Japanese

.

22

XIII.

a.

StQpa containing prayers.temple, Nara.

Wood, paintedof the

;

height 18

From the Horyuji

miniature stupas ordered by the Empress Koken Tenno in the twelfth century and presented to the temple. Gautama Buddha. Clay plaque with Chinese characters at the back, ninth

One

century.c.

StQpa.

Stone

;

height 8

in.

Presented to Henry H. Getty by the

Mahant

of

Bodh'-Gaya,

The Parinirvana of the Buddha. Stone

Gaya

.......j

height 10

in.

Fragment from Bodh'24 25

XIV.

XV.

a,

Maitreya on a Lion Throne. Bronze gilt height 10 in. Tibetan in. Tibetan. Maitreya. Bronze with turquoise ornaments height 3; ;

Le.

Maitreya.Maitreya.

BronzeBronze Bronze

;

height 3 height 5;

in. in.

Tibetan.Tibetan.

;

d.

Amitayus.

height 5.

in..

Tibetan.

........'.

XVI. XVII. XVIII.

a.b. c.

Mandala (Garbhadhatu) The Thirteen Shin-gon Buddhas. Bronze height 7 in. Amida. Wood, gold lacquer height 3 in. Japanese. Amida. Wood, gold lacquer height 5 in. Japanese.;

Japanese

30 32 34

;

;

Amitayus.

Bronze

gilt, turquoise ornaments

d.

Amitayus.

BronzeBronze

gilt;

XIX.

a.b. c.

Naga

lamp.

Bronze;

height 3^ height 11 in.;

in.

height 9 Tibetan;

......in.

Tibetan.

38

Indian.

Amitayus.

height 10?).

in.

Tibetan.

MafijnsrT (or Avalokita

Bronze

gilt

with turquoise ornaments

;

height 11

in.

Nepalese.

Buddhist emblematic

vase.

XX.XXI.a.b.

height 15 in. Tibetan Dogmatic form of Avalokitesvara.

..........Coppergilt

with

mother-of-pearl

ornaments

;

40 46

Bronze.

gilt

with jewel ornaments

;

height

30

in.

Tibetan or Nepalese

Avalokitesvara.Avalokitesvara.

Tibetan. gilt ; height 3 in. Bronze height 8 in. Chinese, with inscription at the back

Bronze

;

c.

too effaced to decipher. Avalokitesvara. Bronze giltAvalokitesvara.

;

height 4

in.

Tibetan.;.

d.

XXII. XXIII.

Bronze lacquer, face painted height 6 in. Tibetan Avalokitesvara with twelve emanations. Bronze height 10 in. Tibetan;

48 50

a.b.

c.

d.

Copper gilt height 10^ in. Tibetan. Avalokitesvara (?). Bronze height 5 in. Tibetan. Avalokitesvara (Amoghapasa). Bronze gilt height 14 in. Avalokitesvara. Bronze gilt height 17 in. TibetanAvalokitesvara.:

;

;

;

.....Tibetan.

56

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONSPLATE

XIFACING PAGE

XXIV.

Avalokitesvaraa.b.

XXV.

Padmapani.

22,000 arms Copper gilt height 16 in. Tibetan Bronze gilt height 5 in. From the Honan, China.'

'.

;

.

.

58

;

e

Kwan-non. Bronze gilt height 5^ in. Japanese. and d. Padmapani. Bronze gilt height 6 in. From the Honan, China; ;

XXVI. XXVII.

a.b. c.

(Sung-tse). Kwan-yin. Porcelain

Kwan-yin Kwan-yin

(Sung-tse).

Porcelain

;

height 15

in.

Chinese.

....leaf,

64 66

;

Porcelain; height 13 in. height 8 in. Chinese.

Chinese.

d.

XXVIII.

Kwan-yin. Porcelain height 8 in. Chinese. Kwan-yin. Porcela