The female as cult object in Buddhism

Dublin Core

Title

Tara, guilded bronze image

Subject

Tara (goddess)
Bronze sculpture--British Museum

Description

The major religious influence in Sri Lanka was Theravada Buddhism which provided no scope for any being other than the Buddha to be worshipped as cult object. However, the country did feel the impact of the Mahayana and Tantrayana forms of Buddhism where Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and their female elements or saktis and consorts were worshipped. It is in the context of these two systems that one finds the elevation of the female as cult object within Buddhist ideology, and the visual expression of that concept in art. Whether as the consort of a Bodhisattva or as Bodhisattva herself, the goddess in Mahayana worship is known as Tara. The best illustration of this goddess in Sri Lankan art is the well-known guilded bronze image, now in the British Museum. Art historians have suggested dates between the 8th and 10th centuries A.D., a period during which Mahayana and Tantrayana forms of Buddhism were felt in Sri Lanka.

Creator

Sirima Kiribamune

Source

The British Museum

Date

ca. 8th-10th century A.D.
Period of study: 1986-1987
Version: 01/12/2012

Contributor

Co-Author: Seneviratna, Harsha
Technical Officer: Wijesinghe, Lalith
Technical Assistant: Jayasundare, Subhashini
Photographer: Madanayake, I.S.
International Center for Ethnic Studies, Kandy, Sri Lanka
Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation
American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies, Colombo

Rights

All rights reserved by International Center for Ethnic Studies, Sri Lanka.

Relation

Forms part of Photographic documentation of Women as depicted in early Sri Lankan sculpture and painting / Slide in present collection

Format

JPEG 2000

Language

eng

Type

image

Identifier

PDWESLSP.S.5.a

Coverage

ce

Citation

Sirima Kiribamune, "Tara, guilded bronze image," online in Digital Library for International Research Archive, Item #12501, http://www.dlir.org/archive/items/show/12501 (accessed August 7, 2022).

Geolocation

Share this Item