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Front view of Seclusion Cave (Youju dong 幽居洞), Pilu dong 毗廬洞 Anderl, Christoph


The seclusion cave (Ch. youju dong 幽居洞) in Pilu cave (Pilu dong 毗盧洞), Anyue xian 安岳縣, Sichuan sheng 四川省 displays three sitting buddhas representing the doctrine of the three ultimate bodies (Skt. trikaya, Ch. sanshen 三身). Yang Xiaodong argues that the statue on the viewer’s left is obviously a Buddha sculpture because of its typical curly hair style, the bindu on the forehead and ascetic-style robes. The crowned and bejeweled Buddha in the middle can be easily connected to the tradition of Esoteric Buddhism due to his iconographic features. It is also possible to assume that the crowned and bejeweled Buddha is a Vairocana Buddha (Lushena fo 盧舍那佛). Finally, the third is Liu Benzun in monastic garments, with traits like those of the Buddha. Photos [1] and [2] show a front view of the cave. Photo [3] shows the upper stone arch inscription. Photo [4] shows the left stone pillar as well as the left sitting buddha statue. Photo [5] shows the right stone pillar. Reference: Xiaodong, Yang, “Inscribing Scriptural Catalogs: Apropos of Two Southern Song Pagodas and Related Buddhist Monuments in the Sichuan Basin” in T'oung Pao, 106 (5-6): 637. Metadata created by Malang Cilangasan (May 31, 2022).

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