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Manuscript of the Five Protections (Pancharaksha)

December 31, 1116
Religion and Festival
Abbasid Caliphate

Manuscript of the Five Protections (Pancharaksha)



Manuscript of the Five Protections (Pancharaksha) 1117 Part of a set. See all set records Eastern India, Bihar Gum tempera, ink, and gold on palm leaf; 14 illustrated folios and 71 text pages Overall: 5.7 x 54.6 cm (2 1/4 x 21 1/2 in.) On Loan from the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection 16.2014 DID YOU KNOW? Seeing the painting of each goddess is as efficacious as reading the text. DESCRIPTION This manuscript of the Five Protections, containing five extended dharanis or "spells" of protection, was painted in northeastern India during the reign of Ramapala (r. 1078/79 - 1131), king of the Pala dynasty. According to information in the colophon, the work was completed on August 2, 1117. This text remains especially popular in Nepal. Portable palm-leaf manuscripts such as this were main transmittors of tantric Buddhism from India to the Himalayas especially during the 12th to 13th century. CITATIONS Mace, Sonya Rhie. “Clearing the Course: Folio 348 of the Nepalese Gaṇḍavyūha-sūtra in the Cleveland Museum of Art.” Religions 2020, 11(4), 183. Reproduced: Fig. 11 EXHIBITION HISTORY Stories From Storage. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (February 7-May 16, 2021).

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Ismail Mazari

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Very good information.


The Mughal Images immediately took a much greater interest in realistic portraiture than was typical of Persian miniatures. Animals and plants were the main subject of many miniatures for albums and were more realistically depicted. To upload your images click here.

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