Song Dynasty Limestone Head of a Bodhisattva, China, ca. 960 - 1279 CE. Softly rounded face carved with delicate, crisply defined facial features framed by neat line of hair drawn into topknot. Urna consists of finely carved image of Buddha. China, 960 - 1279 C.E. Head us 12 1/2" and 18 1/2" high on custom stand. Loss of one earlobe, but otherwise in excellent condition. Bodhisattvas are enlightened beings who have put off entering paradise in order to help others attain enlightenment. There are many different Bodhisattvas, but the most famous in China is Avalokitesvara, known in Chinese as Guanyin. Bodhisattvas are usually depicted as less austere or inward than the Buddha. Renouncing their own salvation and immediate entrance into nirvana, they devote all their power and energy to saving suffering beings in this world. As the deity of compassion, Bodhisattvas are typically represented with precious jewelry, elegant garments and graceful postures. The sattva part of the word means the quality (tva) of truth or goodness (sat) implying equanimity. Traditionally, a bodhisattva is anyone who, motivated by great compassion, has generated bodhicitta, which is a spontaneous wish to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings.