Amoghapasha Lokeshvara

The Singhasari period produced beautiful works of art. One of these is the Amoghapasha Lokeshvara statue which was sent to Sumatra by King Kertanagara.

In this statue, Amoghapasha Lokeshvara, an eight-armed manifestation of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, is shown centrally, standing on a small, circular lotus-shaped base, which is positioned on a larger rectangular foundation. The statue has eight arms, but most of these are badly damaged and it is impossible to identify any of the attributes that they were originally holding. The head is wearing a crown and rests on an oval-shaped halo. Unfortunately, the expression on the face has faded.

The main statue is surrounded by other smaller ones. Four larger ones, two to the left and two to the right of the main image, are standing with their arms and bodies in respectful and admiring poses looking up at the main statue. Two by two, they stand on oval-shaped lotus pedestals, representing, from left to right, Shyamatara, Sudhanakumara, Hayagriva and Bhrikuti, Amoghapasha Lokeshvara’s four helpers.

Like the main statue, they, too, are very similar to the statues that were found in the [Jago temple] [link naar?] in Jago (Tumpang) near Malang. To the left and right of these four accompanying statues, ornamental lotus plants arise from their bulbs, as is typical of statues from the Singhasari period.

Statue of SyamataraStatue of Sudhanakumara

From left to right: statues of Syamatara and Sudhanakumara

Statue of HayagrivaStatue of Bhrikuti

From left to right: statues of Hayagriva and Bhrikuti

Above these four main companions of Amoghapasha Lokeshvara are eight smaller statues sitting on lotus pedestals that appear to grow out of lotus stalks. They seem to be the four directional Buddhas and their female counterparts.

The front of the base portrays (from left to right): a horse, a cakra (discus), a king’s consort, a diamond, a minister, a commander and an elephant. As stated in the Amoghapasha Lokeshvara A inscription, these represent the saptaratna, the ‘seven jewels’ of a world ruler (cakravartin).

This suggests that Kertanagara sent to Sumatra a representation of all the Buddhist statues from the Jago temple on one stone slab. He had other replicas made in bronze. One of these bronze replicas, much smaller than the large stone slab, is now kept in the National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden, another is in the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam and a third is known to be in the collection of the Museum für Asiatische Kunst in Berlin (Germany).

Bronze replica of statue from Jago temple