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A10. Tsong Khapa, 16.1cms, Tibeto-Chinese, Kangxi period.

Tsong Khapa [1357-1419] was born in Amdo in Eastern Tibet. He was brought up as a monk and moved to Lhasa when he was sixteen years old. He was a brilliant scholar and went on to found the Gelukpa or Yellow hat school of Tibetan Buddhism. This became the dominant sect in Tibet and the Dalai Lamas are the heads of this school.

In this sculpture Tsong Khapa is depicted seated in vajraparyankasana on a double lotus throne with his hands in the teaching position [dharmachakra mudra]. He wears monastic robes and lotuses flower at his right and left shoulders supporting a sword and a book respectively. These attributes indicate that he is considered to be a reincarnation of the bodhisattva of wisdom, Manjusri.

The sculpture is heavily cast which is characteristic of Chinese bronzes of this period and the robes are extensively engraved. The sculpture retains its original seal.

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