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Art & Antiques: Bachmann Eckenstein

Milarepa (1040-1123)
14th c.
Brass with copper and silver inlays
Ht: 12.8 cm 


Yogi Milarepa (1040-1123) one of the most universally beloved saints of Tibet and the most popular folk hero. He is believed to be the first ordinary Tibetan to have attained complete enlightenment in a single lifetime. He is famous for rejecting conventional modes of behaviour. Milarepa is sitting here in a relaxed pose, lifting his right hand to his ear as though listening to the voice of inspiration. He teaches his listeners by singing the song of the Buddha Dharma. As a Yogi he sits on the skin of an antelope, which is draped over the broad petaled double lotus seat with its horned head in front. The meditation belt, used during long sessions of meditation to keep the body upright, is slung across his right shoulder. In his left hand he holds the nettle-shell bowl. His garment is decorated with four lucky symbols: conch (blessing), lotus (divinity), vase (wish granting) and fish (happiness). The meditation belt and the lips are copper-inlayed; the eyes are inlayed with copper and silver. There are four lines of inscription on the back of the base (the two lower ones rubbed off): This statue of Yogi Milarepa was made in order to purify the negative emotions and to bring all beings to enlightenment (buddhahood) and to remember Geshe Khengyal. 

Base seal with a double vajra.

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