VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Bodhisattva of Purifcation
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Created by the great Mongolian leader and artist, Zanabazar, this sculpture of Vajrasattva was made using just a single cast, showing extraordinary skill for exquisite ornamentation and gilding. This is one of Zanabazar's largest works. Expressing youth and beauty, Vajrasattva's body is slightly leaned and his lips are pressed together. The Bodhisattva sits in the vajra posture, holding a vajra and bell in his hands. These two objects represent the deity's inner duality. The vajra, or thunderbolt, represents the active male principal, which is the compassionate means to enlightenment. The bell is the perfection of wisdom, symbolized in the void of its empty yet productive form. The heart mantra of Vajrasattva is believed to purify karma and cleanse all faults when recited regularly. The statue is incredibly fine as it is made in one piece of bronze without any connection. All the ornaments are gilded and can be seen clearly.

History of the Object
This masterpiece was made by Mongolia's first Bogd (king), Zanabazar, a great religious and political leader who also founded a unique school of Mongolian Buddhist art in the 17th century. Zanabazar created many images of the Bodhisattva Vajrasattva. His great-grandfather, the builder of Erdene Zuu Monastery, was believed to be a Vajrapani incarnate. During Zanabazar's travels to Tibet, the fifth Dalai Lama bestowed upon him the empowerment of Vajrapani.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
Gilt bronze 
Measurements
Width 50 cm. Height 75 cm. Length 30 cm.  
Creator name
His Eminence First Undur Gegeen Zanabazar 
Creator date
1635-1723 
Where it was made
Mongolia 
Geography
Mongolia 
Time period
AD 17th century ~ AD 17th century 
Creation date
17th century 
Function
Buddhist artwork 
Acquisition
The objects belonged to the Choijin Lama Temple and remained there when the temple became a temple museum. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Choijin Lama Temple Museum 
Museum
Choijin Lama Temple Museum 
Credit line
Bodhisattva of Purification 17th century Gilt bronze Choijin Lama Temple Museum 

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