Author: Lokesh Chandra
Publisher: Aditya Prakashan
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8186471995
Reproduced in original scripts and languages, translated, annotates and critically evaluated by specialists of the East and the West, this Dictionary of Buddhist Iconography spans the last twenty centuries, and is a comparative study of unprecedented geographic variations of great masters who introduced extraordinary plurality of divine forms in the dharanis and sadhanas.
The multiple forms of a theonym arise in varying contexts. For example, Hevajra of the Hevajra-tantra holds crania in his hands, while the Hevajra of the Samputa-tantra has weapons. Both are subdivide into four each on the planes of kaya, vak, citta and hrdaya, with two, four, eight and sixteen arms. The Dictionary classifies such several types of a deity and places each in its theogonic structure, specified the earliest date of its occurrence (e. g. Amoghapasa appears in Chinese in AD 587), the earliest image, the direction in which it is placed in the specific quarter of the mandala, its classification, colour, crown or hairdo, ferocious or serene appearance, number of eyes and heads, hair standing up and / or flaming, number of arms and attributes held in them, consort, lord of the family (kulesa), and so on. The esoteric name, symbolic form (samaya), bija (hierogram), mantra, mudra and mandala are given in this dictionary for the first time and on an extensive scale. The Sanskrit, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Tibetan, Mongolian, Manchu and other names are given under the main entry, as well as cross-referenced in their own alphabetic order.
The Dictionary details the characteristic attributes, chronology and symbolism of over twelve thousand man and minor deities. It reflects the extraordinary cultural, literary, aesthetic and spiritual achievements of several nations of Asia over two millennia.
It will help to identity the masterpieces along with the profusion of masters and divine beings around them. The last few decades have seen an exuberant flourishing of the study and popularization of the patrimony of Buddhist art for its aesthetic magnificence. This Dictionary will add a dimension of precision and depth of perception to the visual tradition of paintings and sculptures.
Evolution of Buddhist Iconography
Arhats, 108 Lokesvaras, Siddhas
Indian sources (Gandavyuha, Sadhana-mala)
Vajravali / Nispanna-yogavali
300 Icons, 360 Icons
Pao-hsiang Lou Pantheon