Pair of Manuscript Covers
13th-14th century
Carved, painted and gilded wood
23 x 72 x 2 cm (9 x 28 ¼ x ¾ in)

J. Watt, Himalayan Art Resources (, set 4345

J. Watt, Himalayan Art Resources (, no. 24111

J. Watt, Himalayan Art Resources (, no. 24123

Crowned Buddha Shakyamuni occupies the central throne on this manuscript cover. He is seated in padmasana, his right hand is in bhumisparsha (earth touching) mudra and his left hand is in dhyana (meditation) mudra. He is flanked by the Four-armed Goddess of Wisdom Prajnaparamita (?) on his right and by the Bodhisattva of Wisdom Manjushri on his left.

Prajnaparamita's main right hand is raised to her chest in vitarka (argument) mudra and her main lefthand is in dhyana mudra. Her two other hands, which are raised to her shoulders, hold a vajra and a book.

Manjushri's hands are raised to his chest in dharmacharka ('Turning the Wheel of Law') mudra. His attributes, a book and a sword, are placed on top of lotuses which blossom at his shoulders.

All three deities are seated on high rectangular thrones with richly decorated and intricately carved toranas which are surrounded by foliated scrolls carved in high relief. The whole composition is framed by distinctive elongated lotus petals.