Pala period, ca.8th/9th century C.E.

Indian Museum, Kolkata

Indian Museum, Kolkata
Kolkata, India

In Buddhist belief the worship of Manjusri, confers wisdom, retentive memory, intelligence and eloquence and mastery over many scriptures. In this terracotta slab Manjusri is seated in maharajalila. By his two hands he holds the stem of an utpala (water lily) carrying a manuscript. A scarf is tied around his waist and the left knee. Paharpur in the present-day Bangladesh is remarkable for its Buddhist monastery of Somapura Mahavihara, which reached the height of its reputation during the rule of Dharmapala, the second ruler of the Pala dynasty (c. A.D.). The establishment acquired a great sanctity specially among the Tibetan Buddhists many of whom undertook a pilgrimage to this spot during the period from the ninth century to the twelfth. Dipankara Srijnana Atisa, a famous monk of Bengal, who went there, is known to have stayed for years in this monastery in which is preceptor Ratnakara Santi was a resident. The grandeur of the sanctuary was enhanced by the exuberant treatment of the exterior walls of its plinth and lower terraces with courses of bricks cut in different shapes and patterns and with continuous friezes of terracotta plaques. The above plaque is one of those.

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  • Title: Manjusri
  • Date: Pala period, ca.8th/9th century C.E.
  • Location: Indian Museum, Kolkata
  • Physical Dimensions: Terracotta, 34.5x30x13.4cm.
  • Provenance: Paharpur, Rajshahi, India.
  • Type: Sclupture