An Emanation of the Boddhisatva Avalokiteshvara, 1959, Nepal. Via Johnson Museum
An unusual manifestation of the Bodhisattva of Compassion, Avalokitesvara, here appears as Shrishtikanta Lokeshvara, “Beautiful Creation Lord of the World,” a form unique to Nepalese Buddhism. Shrishtikanta emanates the entire pantheon of Hindu and Buddhist deities, here indicated by the golden threads that lead to numerous beings in clouds that surround the multiarmed and multiheaded central figure. Shrishtikanta stands on a lotus floating in a river, above a large fish, and holds a white lotus flower in one of the principle hands, while the other makes the gesture of charity. The innermost layer of subsidiary arms holds white lotus, the next three layers hold deities and animal gods, while the outermost layer of hands holds various attributes. A crowned Bodhisattva surmounts the eleven rows of heads.