This stele was carved to fulfill the vow made by a monk. As indicated by the inscriptions, monk Sengxin erected a statue of Maitreya Buddha and dedicated this good deed to his parents, kin and the sangha. On the stele there is a Buddha (Maitreya Buddha) and two Bodhisattvas, with the one flanking on the right holding a lotus bud in her left hand and the one flanking on the left holding a water bottle in her left hand. Both of the flanking Bodhisattvas are supported by evil ghosts beneath and are about half of the size of the Amitabha Buddha in the middle, highlighting the importance of main deity. A relief of a Buddha and two Bodhisattvas are carved to the back of the stele, with the main deity in Dharmachakra Mudra and the flanking Bodhisattvas holding a water bottle and a hossu. It is worth of our attention that two children with lotus flowers at the backgrounds of their heads appeared next the Bodhisattvas, symbolizing the Western Pure Land where Amitabha Buddha teaches his Dharma. The image of Maitreya Buddha in the front is an expression of Sengxin’s hope to be enlightened by true Dharma teachings of Maitreya Buddha, while the image of Amitabha Buddha at the back expresses Sengxin’s vow to rebirth in the Western Pure Land of Amitabha Buddha.
- Item No.
- 73x59.5 cm
- Currently stored at the Cleveland Museum of Art