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Page from a Buddhist Manuscript with an Illustration of Akshobhya

Asian Art

Unlike Vajrabhairava, Akshobhya is distinctly placid. He is one of the five primary Buddhas and the guardian of the Eastern Paradise. Akshobhya means “Immovable One,” and his emblem is the similarly unyielding elephant, two of which are included in the base of his throne. Akshobhya’s blue color represents the coolness of his temperament: he made a vow to reject all passionate emotions that might disturb his meditation.

The horizontal orientation of this manuscript page is typical of traditional books in southern Asia, where long, narrow palm leaves were used as a writing surface for millennia before the introduction of paper. The script is a Nepalese form of Sanskrit.
MEDIUM Ink and opaque watercolor and gold on paper
  • Place Made: Nepal
  • DATES 16th-17th century
    DIMENSIONS 3 9/16 x 12 3/16 in. (9 x 31 cm)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 2010.65.5
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Doris Wiener
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