Friday, February 19, 2021

Kurunegala Vajrapani Statue

Kurunegala Vajrapani Statue
Kurunegala Vajrapani Statue is a small bronze discovered from Kurunegala District, Sri Lanka. It is presently on the display at the Colombo National Museum.

The statue is 39 cm tall and represents Vajrapani, a Bodhisattva of Mahayana Buddhism (Chutiwongs et al., 2011). It has been dated by scholars to the 9th century A.D. (Chutiwongs et al., 2011).

The statue stands in the conventional erect pose. Both hands are half-raised and the Vitarka-mudra is shown by the right hand while the left hand holds a Vajra (the thunderbolt), the symbol of light and devastating power (Chutiwongs et al., 2011). The upper body is naked but highly ornamented with jewellery such as triple necklaces and bejewelled belly-band, girdle and anklets (Chutiwongs et al., 2011). The crown is unique and adorned with the motif of a monster's head known as Kirtimukha (Chutiwongs et al., 2011). A sacred thread (Upavita) runs down from the left shoulder to the knee. The lower body is covered by a garment that has fine pleats and a cluster of folds at the front. 

Some features of this statue can be compared with Bodhisattva statues at Veligama (Kustarajagala) and Dambegoda (Chutiwongs et al., 2011).

References
1) Chutiwongs, N.; Prematilleke, L.; Silva, R., 2011. Sri Lanka Murthi: Bodhisattva (Sri Lanka Sculpture: Bodhisattva). Central Cultural Fund. Ministry of Cultural and the Arts. pp.116-117.

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This page was last updated on 23 October 2021
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