Plates XXII, XXIII] DESCRIPTIVE ACCOUNT OF PICTURES 35
worshippers'" On the right above we see a man, naked except for a loin-cloth, threatened with having his head cut off. Lower down two men are fleeing with their arms over their heads, while a thunder-cloud in the sky, represented like a monstrous Naga, showers black drops on them. Below a man stands calmly in a pyramid of flame into which another behind appears to have pushed him. On the left above a man is being pushed by another over a precipice ; but half-way down he is seen again composedly seated on a cloud. The next scene shows a man kneeling in an arched recess with his head in a cangue, while in front of him are wooden instruments for fettering feet and hands. At the bottom stands a man looking calm although surrounded by a snake, scorpion, and an animal apparently meant for a tiger.
In the bottom portion of the painting are shown the donors, on either side of a cartouche intended for a dedicatory inscription. Their figures are drawn with much care and offer good examples of costumes belonging to the tenth century. Of the men on the right the one in front holds a censer and the other a lotus bud between his hands joined in adoration. On the left kneels a lady in a wide big-sleeved robe ; her hair is held by a central framework and big pins, painted in pink and white, but lacks the usual flowers and leaves. Behind her stands a boy in long white trousers and a flowered pink and white tunic, with his hair parted and ornamented on the top by a big bow.
SIX-ARMED AVALOKITESVARA WITH ATTENDANT BODHISATTVAS
THE large silk painting (Ch. xxvi. ooi) of which this Plate is a half-size reproduction was in its original condition a very fine composition, but has suffered much damage. The lower end has been destroyed by fire, the right edge is lost, and several large holes show where dark green paint has corroded the silk. Much of the colouring is gone ; yet in spite of all these vicissitudes enough remains to prove the refined design of the whole and the sureness of the drawing.
The picture shows a six-armed Avalokite§vara seated on a large white lotus in the attitude known as that of ' royal ease ', with the right knee raised and the head inclined over the right shoulder. This characteristically ' Indian ' pose corresponds to the slim-waisted body and the dress of ' Indian ' Bodhisattva type. It is only in figures of the latter that we find the flower-ornamented caps over the knees here seen. The upper hands with gracefully curved fingers are raised towards the head ; of the middle ones the right is raised before the breast in the vitarka-mudrâ, while the left is held below palm up ; the lower hands hang down below the knees. No emblems are displayed, except the Dhyani-buddha in the front of the tiara, which appears as a high solid cone of chased bronze.
The ornamentation of the circular halo and nimbus is very elaborate and effective. Vandyke and flower patterns fill the former, waving rays the nimbus. One continuous flame border outlines the free edges of both, while a broad band of white surrounds them and encloses the whole figure in a circle of light. A string of small flowers seen in profile defines the outer edge of this circle.
Above it is seen a canopy set with flaming jewels. On either side of this appears a small Bodhisattva seated on a lotus which grows on a twining stem. Two corresponding figures occupying the bottom corners are all but destroyed.
In the colouring different shades of red and green prevailed, together with white ; but the last, as well as the yellow on Avalokiteivara's flesh, has been rubbed off in most places.
46 For scenes somewhat similar, see the side of Bhai§ajyaguru's Paradise in Plate t.