VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Manjuvara
CUM 770
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This elegant piece of Mavjuvara sculpture finely carved on fine basalt. It is 10th century sculpture probably from the Eastern Bengal (Presently Bangladesh) when the Bengal was under the rule of Pala Dynasty (750-1161 AD). This Bodhisattva sits on the back of a lion, in the Lalita or the Ardhaparyanka attitude, and displays the sentiment of Sringara (amour). His two hands are joined against the chest in forming the Dharmacakra mudra which is the eternal symbol of instruction in the ways of dharma (the teachings of Gautama Buddha). The stalk of lotuses with lotus bud on each side rises from the left and right elbows of the deity. The Prajñāpāramitā manuscript is placed on the lotus rising from the left elbow. His vāhana lion crouches on a viśvapadma and hauling with its head turning towards him. Isabell Johne identified the image as a form of Manjusri, calling it Vādirāj (Haque, E and A, Gail, 2008: 294). The saptaratha pedestal is decorated with padmas and utpalas.

History of the Object
Only two Buddhist stone images collected in the CU Museum are a Bodhisattva image and a Lokesvara image. The Bodhisattva image calls “Manjuvara”, CU Museum accession number 770 is one of them. It is donated by Varendra Research Museum, the oldest museum in Bangladesh. This elegant piece of sculpture has lost the upper portion of its stele. There are two finely carved miniature stūpas on each side, which appears to have narrowly escaped destruction.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
Fine Basalt 
Measurements
38cm X 59cm 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Probably from Eastern Bengal 
Geography
Bangladesh 
Time period
AD 10th century ~ BCE 
Creation date
10th Century AD 
Function
Buddist Ritual 
Acquisition
Donated by Varendra Research Museum 
Copyright
Chittagong University Museum 
Acknowledgements
Chittagong University Museum 
Owner
Chittagong University Museum 
Museum
Chittagong University Museum 
Credit line
Chittagong University Museum 

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