Infrared photo of Kannon image in main hall.
One of thousands of statues of Jizo, the merciful deity who is commonly entreated to assist children who have died young, especially even prior to birth. These statues are often dressed in caps and aprons. This clothing is sometimes placed there by a bereaved mother, or sometimes by any warm-hearted person who happens to be fond of keeping little Jizo neatly dressed.
Near the main shrine at Okunoin people stop to pray before, and pour water over, these Buddhist images.
This image and all others identified as ecasia000072 through ecasia000278, are scans of images from the James Thorp Collection, Earlham College. An explanation and description of the collection and its origin are included in the description of image I.D. ecasia000072, "Altar of Heaven at night, Beijing," the first Thorp image presented in this project collection.
Bodhisattva figures adorn the outer walls of the caves. These bodhisattva figures represent the ideal of leaving one's family, wealth, and social standing to take up the life of a wandering Buddhist mendicant seeking enlightenment
The pillars inside this cave display many figures of Buddhist monks as bodhisattvas and buddhas. These monks wear the traditional monastic robe covering one shoulder. The bodhisattva holds the lotus, symbol of enlightenment.
This standing Buddha figure within a stupa-like structure is placed within a large chaitya hall, a cave where monks gathered for teaching and community ritual practices. The straight, rigid form of this Buddha is reminiscent of figures of Jain tirthankaras, with whom early Buddhist monks shared many ideas and practices. The Buddha is depicted with the royal headdress of an aristocratic person but in the ascetic simplicity of an unclothed body.
Within a few yards of the tomb shrine of Zar Zari Zar Baksh lies the tomb shrine of his mother, also understood to intercede with God on the behalf of pilgrims. Women pilgrims often pray to her to help them conceive a child.
A brightly painted image on an inside pillar in the area outside the inner sanctum presents a lively image of the dancing Shiva Nataraj. In some parts of the temple, the ancient pigments seem to have been preserved, probably due to their placement in areas protected from the elements.
On a pillar of the temple, a lingam sits between the horns of a bull.
Sign in English and Hindi for the Tomb of the last Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb. Behind this sign is a small sign explaining that anyone who vandalizes this monument will be subject to imprisonment of up to three months, a fine of up to 5000 rupees [more than $100], or both.
This sign in the courtyard of the mosque complex explains that this area contains the Shrine of the saint, Zainuddin, and the tomb of the son of Aurangzeb, Azamshah. The sign is written in English, Hindi, and Urdu.
These auspicious celestial creatures, the male gandharva and two female apsarases appear to be floating or flying, just as they are described in mythological texts. They live among the clouds but are associated also with water, sensuality, music, and dance. Connected with Indra, king of the gods, the apsarases and gandharva depicted here might represent Indra's devotion to the Buddha and the many bodhisattvas.
At the Tomb Shrine of the mother of Zar Zari Zar Baksh, women tie glass bangles over the door lintel into the shrine room as symbols of their petitions.
Auspicious figures of amorous couples in small stone niches adorn the magnificent Kailash Cave Temple, cave #16 in the series of Ellora Caves. These figures represent fertility and good fortune for all who see them.
A senior qawwali singer is joined by other men to sing qawwals in praise of God, the Prophet, and Sufi saints. This was an impromptu qawwali performed with men who happened to be at the dargah.
Parshvanatha, a digambara monk, is always depicted resting against the coils of a snake and protected under the hoods of snakes. He is also shown over the wheel of a chariot, with elephants, lions, and devotees at his feet.
This shrine is dedicated to the 24th tirthankara, Mahavira, who is understood to have lived in the 6th or 5th century B.C.E. Mahavira is depicted seated in the lotus position having achieved a state of pure liberation. Other tirthankaras are depicted behind him.
Interior of hall showing statues of the Sentai Senju Kannon Bosatu, approx. 165-168.5 cm in height, dating from the Kamakura period.
Since this statue was kept as a secret image, shut away in a cabinet for many years, the colors that decorate the surface remain bright. This image is found at Todaiji in Nara.
An explanation of a standing Buddha sculpture.
The altar of the Fukukenjaku Kannon inside the Hokke-do hall at Todai-ji
Depicts the wrathful deity Mahakala with three Gelukpa lamas above [most likelyTsongkapa and his two main disciples] and images of Green and White Tara below. Said to be from the Tibetan region of China.
Back view of painted earthenware figure of a woman, boasting long sleeves and slender shape and an extended bouffant hairstyle. Funerary figurine.