Dharmapala Thangka CentreTibetan Antiques

Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara [Lokanatha] Tsa Tsa

9th - 13th century !

Stupa Lotus Flower Back

This very old Lokanatha [Avalokiteshvara, Tibetan: spyan ras gzigs, སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས] Tsa Tsa comes from the region Tsaparang, Guge, Tholing in West Tibet [about 660 miles / 1000 km west of Lhasa].

Among the early bodhisattvas depicted after the turn of time is Lokanatha, »Lord of the World«. In India, he is also often referred to as Padmapani, »He Who Holds the lotus in His Hand«.Usually depicted with a lotus as his most significant identifying feature, in Tibet he has become known in various forms primarily as Chenresig [Skt. Avalokiteshvara]. We see him here on an early Tibetan tsa tsa, which shows clear traces of his age, in his Lokanatha form. His depiction in the relaxed seated posture of the bodhisattva borrows from ancient Indian tradition.

From his left hand, resting loosely on the throne, sprouts a lotus flower opening over his left shoulder. Above the hand resting on his right knee, which might show the gesture of giving [Skt.: »Varadamudra«] a stupa in the form of the Nirvanastupa is placed.

While a body aureole is missing, the head aureole is decorated with a plastic band of large beads. The inscription, which I cannot decipher, seems to contain characters of the Kutila script as well as Tibetan.

Lokanatha is seated on a single layered lotus throne in the flexible pose of of »Rajalilasana«, or »royal ease« with one leg raised and arm casually draped [a typical bodhisattva sitting position]. From his left hand, which is supported on the throne, a lotus flower emerges, which opens over his left shoulder. His hand lying on his right knee shows the gesture of giving [Varadamudra]. To the left of it is a stupa in the form of a nirvana stupa. A head aureole is decorated with a plastic band of large pearls. To his left and right we see an indecipherable Tibetan inscription. His leg dress is patterned and fits tightly, his head is surrounded by a nimbus of pearls.

Age & Origin: Western Tibet, Tsanda-District [rtsa mda'], Ngari Province, appr. 13th - 14th century. The small stupa in the upper left corner is a pretty sure indication for the high age. On Tsas Tsa of younger date this symbol is not found.

Source: TSHA-TSHA. Votive tablets from the Buddhist cultural area.
Collection Christian H. Lutz

Comparisation with »The Huntington Archiv«

Measurements: 3 x 2.6 x 1.2" | 7.6 x 6.7 x 3.0 cm
Price: 297 $ | 275 €
High resolution: Display [0.7 MB, 2227 x 2450 px.]
Shipment: Parcel Service from Germany
Material: Burned Clay
Age: 9th - 13th cent.
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