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The Lacquer panel of Apsara Holding Lotus Flower is a fine piece of art made by skillful artisans. It represents this mythological female creature which is compared to angels because of her beauty and which has the power to change into infinite shapes.
The name of the Apsaras comes from Sanskrit and it means "heavenly beings" or "celestial maidens." In Hindu mythology this divine beauties and dancers lived in the Lord Indra’s court. They are often pictured flying through the air, playing a great variety of musical instruments, sitting on clouds, standing in graceful poses or holding flowers with which they pay tribute to the gods.
The function of the Apsaras is to serve the Deva and protect Buddhist law. Although people pay some tribute to them, they are not particularly worshipped. As a gesture of respect and admiration, though, many people in Japan and other Buddhist countries place rice, water and flowers at their feet. The Apsaras usually wear celestial, floating, and light garments, adorned with scarves of gauze. They are generally found standing or seated on clouds or standing on lotuses. In ancient times they were painted inside sanctuaries and temples in Cambodia, as well as in Laos, Burma and Thailand.