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Temple Third Avatamsaka Trinity

On the third level of the temple, you will find at the rear chamber of this hall, the sacred Relics of the Buddha are on display for visitors and devotees to view and venerate. On display are numerous relics and reliquaries from various countries, including Gandharan period. A most peaceful and yet thought provoking place.
Avatamsaka Trinity in BTRTM
The Buddha Sakyamuni statue is in the Padmasana (seated lotus) posture on the diamond throne. His hands are on his lap in the dhyana (meditation) mudra. A gold `cloud aureole radiates behind his body and head with a small stupa at the top.

The Bodhisattva Manjusri statue is on the left, in the Lalitasana (relaxation) posture on the lotus pedestal, seated on the black lion. He holds a Sword of Wisdom in his right hand and a sutra on a lotus in his left hand. His hair is tied in a high chignon with a high crown adorned with the Dharma Wheel. A flower aureole radiates behind his head. He has a jeweled necklace around the body.

The Bodhisattva Samantabhadra is on the right, in the Lalitasana (relaxation) posture on the lotus pedestal, seated on the white elephant. He holds a ruyi in his right hand and his left hand in the mudra. His hair is tied in a high chignon. A flower aureole radiates behind his head. He has a high crown adorned with the Dharma Wheel. He has a jeweled necklace around the body. The white elephant has a cintamani jewel on his head.

About Avatamsaka Trinity
The Avatamsaka Trinity(Three Saints of Avatamsaka) consists of the following:

Buddha Shakyamuni was the historical Buddha who lived in the 6th century BCE in North India. Sage of the Shakyas, He was also known by his personal name Gautama or his family name Siddhartha.

Bodhisattva Manjushri represents transcendental wisdom, virtue, auspiciousness and joy. He is sometimes known as the Dharma Prince wielding the sword of wisdom subduing the hordes of demons and cutting off all worries and delusions. His left hand holds a green lotus which bears the scroll of the Heart Sutra which symbolizes the wisdom realizing the true nature of all things.

Bodhisattva Samantabhadra is usually depicted seated on an elephant with six tusks (six paramitas). He is a major Bodhisattva who personifies the transcendental practices and vows of the Buddhas. In the Avatamsaka Sutra, Samantabhadra makes Ten Great Vows concerning his Buddhist practice. In the twenty-eighth chapter of the Lotus Sutra, he vows to protect the Lotus Sutra, and its devotees.

About Avatamsaka Sutra
The Avataṃsaka Sūtra (Sanskrit: महावैपुल्यबुद्धावतंसकसूत्र Mahāvaipulya Buddhāvataṃsaka Sūtra) is one of the most influential Mahayana sutras of East Asian Buddhism. The title is rendered in English as Flower Garland Sutra, Flower Adornment Sutra, or Flower Ornament Scripture.

The Avataṃsaka Sūtra describes a cosmos of infinite realms upon realms, mutually containing one another. The vision expressed in this work was the foundation for the creation of the Huayan school of Chinese Buddhism, which was characterized by a philosophy of interpenetration. Huayan is known as Kegon in Japan.

Development of BTRTM Avatamsaka Trinity
The Avatamsaka Trinity statues are modeled after similar Tang period Trinity statues.
Bibliography:

  1. Lokesh Chandra, Dictionary of Buddhist Iconography, International Academy of Indian Culture and Aditya Prakashan, 1999, Vol 2 pages 466 – 468
  2. Denise Patry Leidy, Shambala, The Art of Buddhism, An Introduction to its History & Meaning, 2008, pages 289

Websites:

  1. Avatamsaka Sutra – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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