As Buddhism traveled along the Silk Roads to China, lions were incorporated into Buddhist beliefs as the protectors of Shakyamuni and, over time, became one of the primary symbols of Shakyamuni and of Buddhism itself. Shakyasimha, a name for Buddha Shakyamuni, literally means lion of the Shakya clan, which is a double reference to the fact that Shakyamuni’s father was the king of the Shakya clan and the symbol of that clan was a lion. The lion also symbolizes Shakyamuni’s royal origins and his courage in challenging injustice and alleviating human suffering. His title “Lion of the Shakyas,” reflects the power of his teachings and his voice is called the “Lion’s Roar,” as he roars out the Dharma for all to hear. Symbolically the lion’s roar reminds followers to strive with the courageous heart of the lion and overcome obstacles in their path, creating happiness and harmony in their lives and in society. Since the Han dynasty pairs of guardian lions have stood in front of Chinese imperial palaces and tombs, government offices, temples, shrines, monasteries and the homes of government officials and the wealthy, believed to be mythological beasts who guard and protect the structures where they are placed. They also symbolize Bodhisattvas who are referred to as the “Buddha’s lions,” who protect the Dharma and lions sometimes support thrones of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Lions are also vehicles for a Vajrayana deities such as Vaishravana and Manjushri, and lion thrones are used in some Buddhist traditions.

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  • Antique Buddha as an Infant on a Lion, China (19405DRK) $850

    H: 9″  W: 3.625″  D: 3.5″ | FREE UPS SHIPPING!

    This rare carving of the infant Buddha with well defined features is clearly a provincial rendering that uniquely departs from traditional renderings. He holds a monk’s begging bowl as he points to the heavens and he stands on a lion’s head, as he is the lion of the Shakya clan. Given its small size, it was probably displayed on a home altar.

  • Vintage Brass Buddha with Aureole, Nepal (30611LEM) $790

    H: 25.5”  W: 11”  D: 6.5” | FOR SHIPPING INFORMATION CONTACT US AT 213-568-3030

    This fine vintage brass Buddha Shakyamuni sculpture reflects characteristics of unique Nepalese style. With both hands in teaching mudra, wearing in the “wet style” monks robe, he stands with similar to a contrapposto posture, weight supported on a single leg suggesting movement.  His elaborate regal pedestal has a removable aureole with  wheel of the dharma above two Buddhist protective lions. This piece is elegant in its simplicity and expresses the Buddha’s refined and restrained meditative spirituality.

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