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The deity Indra and the Four Guardian Kings
Place of Origin: Tibet
Date: 1800-1900
Object Name: Sutra cover
Materials: Colors on paper with brocade and wood
Dimensions: H. 2 11/16 in x W. 18 in, H. 6.8 cm x W. 45.7 cm (image); H. 5 1/4 in x W. 23 1/8 in, H. 13.3 cm x W. 58.7 cm (overall)
Credit Line: Transfer from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Gift of Katherine Ball
Department: Himalayan Art
Collection: Books And Manuscripts
Object Number: B72D64
On Display: No

Description

Label: Tibetan manuscript covers will often feature figures whose presence is understood to guard the text within. At the center of this manuscript cover, Indra, king of the gods, protects the text from atop his characteristic white elephant. To the left are the guardian kings Virudhaka of the south and Dhritarashtra of the east; Vaishravana of the north with his banner and Virupaksha of the west with his banner complete the set.

Together, these four guardian kings guard the center of the cosmos, especially Mt. Meru—the dwelling place of Indra.

More Information

Exhibition History: "One Billion Buddhas: The Awakened Cosmos of Himalayan Buddhism", Asian Art Museum, 8/9/2016-4/9/2017
Label: Tibetan manuscript covers will often feature figures whose presence is understood to guard the text within. At the center of this manuscript cover, Indra, king of the gods, protects the text from atop his characteristic white elephant. To the left are the guardian kings Virudhaka of the south and Dhritarashtra of the east; Vaishravana of the north with his banner and Virupaksha of the west with his banner complete the set.

Together, these four guardian kings guard the center of the cosmos, especially Mt. Meru—the dwelling place of Indra.
Exhibition History: "One Billion Buddhas: The Awakened Cosmos of Himalayan Buddhism", Asian Art Museum, 8/9/2016-4/9/2017