At first glance, one might assume that the present Tsa Tsa is the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, as his depiction has numerous similarities. The crucial difference between the two is the attribute in the right hand.
Vajrapani is one of the earliest and most recognizable characters of Buddhist art. He is known for carrying a vajra scepter and being a close attendant to the historical Buddha according to the Mahayana Sutras.
In the case of Avalokiteshvara, this would have to be a lotus blossom whose tall stem sprouts from his left hand. A comparison with an Avalokiteshvara Tsa Tsa clarifies this. Above the left hand of Vajrapani, in contrast, a slender stupa rises upwards. In his right hand he originally held a vajra [his clear distinguishing mark]. Unfortunately, the vajra is no longer recognizable today.
Above the hand resting on his right knee, which is believed to show the gesture of giving [Skt.: Varadamudra], is depicted an unusually slender tall stupa in the form of the Nirvana Stupa. While a body aureole is missing, there was probably a head aureole which can only be guessed rudimentarily. An inscription, indecipherable today, has been placed at the top of the left side. Three beads rest in his lap. His right hand carried a today also no longer identifiable counterpart.
The peaceful Vajrapani appears in Buddhist iconography chronologically before his wrathful manifestation in the 10th cent., mainly in India. In Tibet, he had little or no significance thereafter. Here, his wrathful manifestation dominated [until today]. In India, the country of origin, Buddhism disappeared from about 1000 A.D. The religions of India, as well as the Muslim invasion during this time, caused Buddhism to lose importance. Therefore, Tibet can be excluded as the origin of the peaceful Vajrapani with its Indian roots, which clearly proves an origin in this time. ´
The 1000 years that have passed since its production at least have left their traces. About half of the original border has been lost. In addition, the photo shows severe weathering. The inscription at the top left is only vaguely recognizable. Overall, however, the Tsa Tsa in its present form has a strong antique appearance and an authentic patina.
The stupa on the upper right is a fairly certain indication of its great age. On tsa tsa of younger date this symbol is not found.
|1.8 x 1.6 x 0.7" | 4.6 x 4.0 x 1.8 cm
|238 $ | 220 €
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|10th - 11th cent.
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