Seated Dai-Nichi Buddha, the hands forming the chi-ken-in "knowledge fist" mudra, sculpted in relief from sandstone. Late-Edo Period ca. 1850. Very minor old loss.
Height: 53 cm
Width: 28 cm
Depth: 16.5 cm.
Images of a small group of bosatsu (bodhisattva), namely, Jizo Bosatsu, the various manifestations of Kannon Bosatsu, and Seishi Bosatsu, dominate the field of Japanese stone sculpture throughout the Edo Period (1603-1868) and into the modern era. Conversely, Edo-Period stone images of the four main manifestations of the Nyorai (Buddha), namely, Amida Buddha, Dai-Nichi Buddha, Shaka Buddha, and Yakushi Buddha, are relatively uncommon.
Dai-Nichi Buddha, the supreme deity of the Esoteric Buddhist sects in Japan, is depicted with hands in either of two mudra, of which the chi ken-in, formed by the right fist clasped lightly around the upright left index finger held at the level of the chest, is by far the more common. This mudra symbolizes the knowledge of Dai-Nichi Buddha of the Diamond World, the five fingers of the right hand representing the five sense organs of man, as roots of knowledge, and the upright index finger of the left hand injecting a sixth element, mentality of the Buddha.
A well-executed Diamond World Dai-Nichi Buddha stone with good age and in excellent condition.