Photo of the day 21 October - The God of travellers

Where this photo was taken?

Cave 7 - Aurangabad caves, Maharashtra

Story of this photo:


This is a sculpture of Avalokiteshvara or Padmapani - A Bodhisattva of Buddhist belief. I totally adore him. He is a God of compassion and more importantly the guardian God of travellers.This sculpture is named "Ashtamahabhaya Avalokiteshvara". It features Bodhisattva Avalokiteshwara in the center, poised and elegant, holding a lotus flower in his left hand. The scenes around him depict Avalokiteshwara rescuing travelers from  Ashtamahabhaya or eight great perils. From the bottom left towards up- Ship wreck, imprisonment, armed men (probably robbers or crooks), fire. From the bottom right towards up we have black magic (doesn't it ring with drugs?), attack of elephant, attack of serpents and finally attack of lion. This sculpture is at least 1500 years old. However the significance of the great perils or the protector Bodhisattva has not reduced. So is the  beauty and elegance of this sculpture.

Note1: Avalokiteshvara is popularly known as Padmapani as he is holding a Padma (lotus) in one hand.

Note 2: According to the Buddhist Mahayana cult, a Bodhisattva is a  person who has attained or Enlightenment, but who postpones Nirvana in order to help others to attain Enlightenment.
Bodhisattvas can be male of female. Tara is a famous female Bodhisattva in Buddhist belief.

Reference: Biddhist caves at aurangabad, Transformations in art and religion By Pia Brancaccio

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