Small Buddhist Rupas, or Statues, from Nepal

Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva Brass Statues Buddha Buddha Head Buddha Images Buddha Statues Ladakh Tibet

Small Fine Quality Buddhist statues from Nepal.

In Buddhist terminology, a representation in material form of a Buddha or Bodhisattva is called a rupa, rather than a statue. But if you look online for a statue of the Buddha you'll get better results if you look for a statue rather than a rupa. So we'll use the word statue.

in October '22 in Patan in the Kathmandu valley of Nepal we found this wonderful collection. They're made from oxidised copper, a deep reddish brown colour and very finely detailed; they make great gifts for a Buddhist friend to place on their shrine.

Oxidised copper Buddha statues

In the photo above we have, from left to right, Avalokiteshvara, Vajrasattva, Manjushri and, again, Avalokiteshvara.

Avalokiteshvara, known to the Tibetans as Chenresig, is the quintessential Bodhisattva of Compassion. He comes in various forms, here with four arms with which he holds a lotus and prayer beads, or mala, and in the inner hands the Cintamani, the wish fulfilling jewel.

Next is Vajrasattva, sometimes called the Adi Buddha. A vajra is a diamond thunderbolt so his name means diamond being; sattva implies he is a Bodhisattva. Vajrasattva has a dual role of being both a Bodhisattva and the primordial or Adi Buddha or Sambhogakaya manifestation of the Buddha principle. In his right hand he holds a vajra close to his heart and in his left hand a vajra cup.

Manjushri, or Manjughosa, is a Bodhisattva of Wisdom. The flaming sword in his right hand cuts through ignorance; the lotus held in his left hand supports the wisdom texts of the Dharma, the Buddha's teachings.

Oxidised copper Buddha statuesIn this photo we have Amitayus, Green Tara, Amitabha and Akshobhya.

Amitayus and Amitabha are related. Amitayus is wearing the crown of a Bodhisattva whereas Amitabha looks more like the Buddha, without a crown. They both sit in meditation posture, Amitabha sometimes holds a bowl whereas Amitayus holds a long life vase. Amitayus is the Buddha of infinite life; Amitabha is the Dhyana Buddha of infinite light, the red Buddha of the western sky.
Second left is Green Tara, one of the most popular Bodhisattvas, a female Bodhisattva of Compassion. In the myth of her origin she was born from the tears of Avalokiteshvara. Her right leg is extended out into the world to help all beings and she is known as the one who carries you over the oceans of samsara.
In Tibet & Ladakh she is known as Dolma or Drolma. In 2014 we walked around Mt Kailash in Tibet. The highest pass, at almost 19,000 feet, is the Drolma La and crossing over the pass is the most profound experience of the four day trek.
The last figure on the right is Akshobhya who's right hand is extended in what is known as the Bhumisparsha, or earth touching, mudra. Akshobhya is the blue Dhyana Buddha of the eastern sky, the Buddha who sees clearly with mirror like wisdom. The earth touching mudra is also associated with the Buddha's enlightenment when he touched the earth to call the Earth Goddess to witness his enlightenment. It's easy to confuse rupas of Akshobya and the Earth Touching Buddha but the richly decorated robes on this rupa imply a transcendental Buddha, Akshobya, rather than the historic Buddha Shakyamuni.

You can see these and other Buddha rupas for sale on our Buddha & Ganesh pages.
For detailed information about the iconography of the different Buddhas and Bodhisattvas I'd recommend Vessantara's excellent book Meeting the Buddhas & Bodhisattvas.

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