This piece portrays the figure of the Great Mother kneeling in prayer. However, here we see the hermaphrodite version, neither male nor female, but encompassing all beings


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The sandstone here has a pinkish color giving warmth, and there is a magical contrast between the hardness of stone and the beautifully soft, rounded lines of the carving. Pranhaparamita is an ancient doctrine with many examples of writings, some of which probably date back as far as the 1st century BC.

Coming from the Sanskrit words ‘pranha’ meaning wisdom and ‘paramita’ meaning perfection; it refers to the Perfection of Transcendental Wisdom. It is central to Mahayana Buddhism. The concept of Pranhaparamita is often represented as a figure or a goddess, and this is sometimes called the ‘mother of all the Buddhas’, Mahayana Buddhism being the first to allow for the role of the female in higher-level spirituality. However the figure is often represented as a hermaphrodite, transcending gender.

This statue shows the marriage of masculine and feminine lines with the slim boyish waist, and the slight swelling of the breasts. The hair is done up in an intricate display piled high on top of the head, created here by masterful carving. The figure will bring grace to any home.


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