Buddhist Deity (Cundi)
Museum Purchase, with a grant from the Freeman Foundation Undergraduate Asian Studies Initiative
Avalokitesvara, the lord who gazes down on the world, is the universal manifestation of compassion. A bodhisattva with many representations including the Water-Moon Guanyin, Avalokitesvara is depicted here in the form of Cundi.
Cundi, meaning supreme purity, is typically depicted with eighteen arms and three eyes. She is seated on a lotus throne and attended by two dragon (naga) kings Nanda and Upananda. Her eighteen arms, with the original two hands forming the Root Mudra, hold many different implements said to express the eighteen merits of attaining buddhahood. Due to the size of this object it has been viewed as a personal object of worship unlike the Water-Moon Guanyin meant for public display.
Gea Ermotti, Bowdoin ’11