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Eleven-Headed Guanyin

Eleven-Headed Guanyin

1100-1200

Wood with polychromy and cut gold

Overall: 218.5 cm (86 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1981.53

Description

The bodhisattva is an enlightened being dedicated to the spiritual awakening of all beings. The compassionate bodhisattva Guanyin, in a variety of manifestations, is probably the most popular deity of worship in Chinese Buddhism. In the Esoteric Buddhist form shown here, this standing Guanyin has a total of eleven heads, with smaller ones above the principal head. The uppermost head represents the Buddha Amitabha, to whom he is closely related. The eleven heads symbolize the Buddha’s steps on the path to enlightenment.

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