Amida Nyorai

Amida Nyorai

A standing figure of Amida Buddha

 

DATE Early Muromachi Period (1392-1568), mid 16th century
MEDIUM Wood with gold-leaf
TOTAL HEIGHT 41 cm
FIGURE HEIGHT 29.8 cm

 

The Amitabha (Amida in Japanese) Buddha is shown standing with his hands forming the Amida raigo-in mudra. The face has a serene expression, with closed eyes under delicately arched brows and a severe face. The hair is arranged in rows of coils that also cover the ushnisha, the protuberance on the head. The drapery is folded in elegant pleats falling from the shoulders to the feet. The antique sculpture is placed on a lotus flower which is located on a richly decorated base.

Faith in Amida Buddha remained largely confined to a small segment of the Japanese population until the Kamakura Era (1185-1333) when it was popularized by new Pure Land sects committed to bringing Buddhism to the illiterate commoner. These sects expressed concern for the salvation of the ordinary person and stressed pure and simple faith over complicated rites and doctrines. Amida Nyorai presides over the Great Western Paradise and when a devotee dies, it is believed that Amida himself descends from his paradise to lead the faithful back to the Pure Land. This sculpture's hands gesture (mudra) symbolizes Amida welcoming the spirits of dead devotees.

 

INVENTORY NR: alt-1185

Antique sculpture for sale. Price on application. Please include item stock number.

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