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The Medicine Buddha Sutra Transformation Tableau (Yaoshi jingbian 藥師經變), including side tableaux and the thousand buddha motifs, Qianfo zhai (千佛寨) Anderl, Christoph; Yu, Sau Ling Wendy


This transformation tableau of the Medicine Buddha Sutra (Ch. Yaoshi jingbian 藥師經變) is located at Qianfo zhai 千佛寨, Anyue xian 安岳縣, Sichuan sheng 四川省. It dates to the Tang dynasty (618–907). Dimensions: 4.0m (H) x 5.2m (W) x 2.2m (D). The grotto is not well preserved; its right wall and roof have both collapsed. The carvings are badly eroded, particularly the lower part. Based on the extant carvings, it can be divided into 5 sections. The diagram in image [2] shows the sections (created by Sau Ling Wendy Yu). Section B is on the left side of Medicine Buddha and the four bodhisattvas. The depictions in this section are related to the twelve great vows (Ch. Shi’er dayuan十二大願) made by the Medicine Buddha. The outer part of this section is heavily eroded. Section C is on the right side of Medicine Buddha and the four bodhisattvas. The imagery in this section relates to the nine kinds of untimely death (Ch. Jiu hengsi 九橫死). Tragic scenes of untimely death are depicted. Seven Chinese characters reading “方岐山叩許培脩” are written in white a rectangular block in the upper part of this section, probably in the contemporary period. Section E is located at the leftmost side wall. It contains 13 rows of small buddha motifs. The two rows at the bottom are worn out. See also the record on “The Medicine Buddha Sutra.” Transformation Tableau 藥師經變, Qianfo zhai (千佛寨), an overview, the central and the bottom tableaux” for a discussion of sections A and D. Metadata created by: Sau Ling Wendy Yu.

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