Wood, gold paint, gold leaf with lacquer, and inlaid crystal eyes
Figure: H. 33 in. (83.8 cm); W. 9 1/2 in. (24.1 cm); D. 13 in. (33 cm)
Pedestal: H. 9 in. (22.9 cm); W. 14 3/4 in. (37.5 cm); D. 11 1/4 in. (28.6 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1912
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 224
Amida Nyorai (Sanskrit: Amitabha Tathagata), the Buddha of Limitless Light, sits upon a lotus pedestal at the center of the altar. His hands form a mudra of meditation. His benevolent gaze, directed toward the devotee below, is symbolic of his boundless compassion. Amida is flanked by his attendant bodhisattvas (kyōji ), Kannon (Sanskrit: Avalokitesvara) at right, and Seishi (Sanskrit: Mahasthamaprapta) at left, and is escorted by flying celestial beings. This sculptural configuration, known as an Amida Triad, or Amida-sanzon in Japanese, is a visualization of the Welcoming Descent (raigō) of Amida, who descends to this world with his heavenly retinue to provide salvation for all believers who have called upon his name. When a believer dies, Amida and his retinue venture to this world to rescue the deceased.