alice getty - the gods of northern buddhism
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OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESSLONDON
PUBLISHER TO THE UNIVERSITY
NORTHERN BUDDHISMTHEIR HISTORY, ICONOGRAPHY AND PROGRESSIVE EVOLUTION THROUGH THE NORTHERN BUDDHIST COUNTRIESBY
WITH A GENERAL INTRODUCTION ON BUDDHISMTRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH OFJ,
DOCTEUR ES SCIENCES
ILLUSTRATIONS FROM THE COLLECTION OF
OXFORDAT THE CLARENDON PRESS1914
AUTHOR'S PREFACEIt of theis difficult for
are unacquainted with the iconography of the gods Pantheon to realize the degree of interest that may be attached
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
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
translating some valuable manuscripts which he succeeded in carrying outdeities
The study of the iconography of the Northern Buddhistinfancy.subject,
therefore in its
the exception of a few erudite books,is
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:
'a forbidden land', intercourse with the Tibetan lamas in their
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.
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
thanks to M. A. Foucher for his kindness
manuscript and, as I
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
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'
so that in time the
West may come
to a clearer understanding of the East.
A.Paris, March 1913.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONSPLATE
height 15 in. Jain. Gautama Buddha seated on a seven-headed Naga.
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
Stand and cover of flamingheight 10in.
Japanese. lacquer. Juntei Kwan-non. Wood, gold lacquer, painted shrine
StQpa containing prayers.temple, Nara.
Wood, paintedof the
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
Presented to Henry H. Getty by the
The Parinirvana of the Buddha. Stone
Fragment from Bodh'24 25
Maitreya on a Lion Throne. Bronze gilt height 10 in. Tibetan in. Tibetan. Maitreya. Bronze with turquoise ornaments height 3; ;
height 3 height 5;
XVI. XVII. XVIII.
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.;
30 32 34
gilt, turquoise ornaments
height 3^ height 11 in.;
height 9 Tibetan;
MafijnsrT (or Avalokita
with turquoise ornaments
height 15 in. Tibetan Dogmatic form of Avalokitesvara.
with jewel ornaments
Tibetan or Nepalese
Tibetan. gilt ; height 3 in. Bronze height 8 in. Chinese, with inscription at the back
too effaced to decipher. Avalokitesvara. Bronze giltAvalokitesvara.
Bronze lacquer, face painted height 6 in. Tibetan Avalokitesvara with twelve emanations. Bronze height 10 in. Tibetan;
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.:
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONSPLATE
22,000 arms Copper gilt height 16 in. Tibetan Bronze gilt height 5 in. From the Honan, China.'
Kwan-non. Bronze gilt height 5^ in. Japanese. and d. Padmapani. Bronze gilt height 6 in. From the Honan, China; ;
(Sung-tse). Kwan-yin. Porcelain
Porcelain; height 13 in. height 8 in. Chinese.
Kwan-yin. Porcelain height 8 in. Chinese. Kwan-yin. Porcela