By Ananda K. Coomaraswamy
Reprint of a vintage. a clean interpretation of Buddhist paintings, scholarly but written for a wide viewers
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Extra resources for Elements of Buddhist Iconography
A. There is a similar relief at Kondivle. 137 An admirable illustration of this can be cited in the case of the pedestal (Fig. 40) of the Yakushi Buddha of the Kondo, a Japanese work of the eighth century (Japanes€ Temples and 'Their Treasures, PI. ,"Ushiji Okagami, II, Tokyo, 1922). Here the flat surface of the rectangular throne is an earth-plane (vasudha-lala), the solid body of the pedestal corresponding to the Land of Gold. On the front side of the pedestal is represented a vertical axis extending downwards to the lower margin of the block, where it is supported by a crouching Yak~ Atlant.
Or again, when the chariot of the Sun is thought of us three-wheeled (tricakra), IJg Veda, X, 85, two of the wheels are identified as aforesaid with Heaven and Earth ("one looks down upon the several worlds, the other ordains the seasons and is born again," cf. I, 164,44 and 32), and these "proceed by magic," miiyayii carantij but the third is hidden (guhii = guhayam nihitam, sc. 'I in the heart"), and only the adepts (addMtayaM are Comprehensors (mduM thereof. This third wheel evidently corresponds to the" secret name," nama guhyam, of X, 55, 1, and the "third light" of X, 56,1.
The early art. In TheragiUhii, 1095, however, we find it spoken of as a "lion-throne," sihasana (glossed thirasane apartijita-palIj [42 J THE PLACE OF THE LOTUS-THRONE unconquerable seat of firm seance ") j this lion-throne is the form actually favored in the case of the oldest representations of the Buddha in human form at Mathura, and it long survives in literature and art, often in combination with the lotus. Other royal types of seat or throne are met with at Amaravati. , that the characteristic lotus seat (padmdsana) tanke, Ii or lotus pedestal (padma-pitha) first appears.
Elements of Buddhist Iconography by Ananda K. Coomaraswamy