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Three representation of Buddha's body (Sanshen 三身), 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 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 plausible that the crowned and bejeweled Buddha is a Vairocana Buddha (Lushena fo 盧舍那佛). Finally, the third one is Liu Benzun in monastic garments, with traits resembling those of the Budda. Photo [1] shows the three buddha statues. Photo [2] shows the stone inscription explaining the meaning of three buddha statues. Photo [3] shows the front view of Vairocana buddha statue. Photo [4] shows the buddha statue on the left. Photo [5] shows the statue of Liu Benzun/buddha. 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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