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Dunhuang art -- Manjushri visiting Vimalakirti, ink and colours on paper

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From Cave 17, Mogao, near Dunhuang, Gansu province, China
Five Dynasties, mid-10th century AD
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This painting shows Manjushri, the bodhisattva of wisdom, seated on a lion throne when visiting the sage Vimalakirti. The details - described in the entry on the illustration to the Vimalakirtinirdesha Sutra (see Related Objects) - are known from other popular representations of the subject, which were often placed on the two sides of the entrance at the caves at Mogao.DPDSilk Road Adventure & Private Tours - Silk Road China Tours

A large crowd is gathered to hear the debate between Manjushri and Vimalakirti, and, most importantly, in front of Vimalakirti is shown the customary figure of the Chinese emperor wearing a crown and an imperial robe decorated with the sun and moon and dragons. In front of Manjushri we can see the bodhisattva who was summoned by Vimalakirti from the Abhirati universe to feed the multitudes with the fragrant rice that pours miraculously from his bowl without end.DPDSilk Road Adventure & Private Tours - Silk Road China Tours

R. Whitfield, Art of Central Asia: The Ste-1, vol. 2 (Tokyo, Kodansha International Ltd., 1982-85)DPDSilk Road Adventure & Private Tours - Silk Road China Tours

R. Whitfield and A. Farrer, Caves of the thousand Buddhas: (London, The British Museum Press, 1990)DPDSilk Road Adventure & Private Tours - Silk Road China Tours

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