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The Iconography of Nepalese Buddhism

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by Min Bahadur Shakya

Nepal has a time-honoured tradition of art and culture embedded with Buddhism. In fact, the artistic tradition of Nepalese people is instrumental in elevating the status of Nepal in the world. In the past Nepalese artists produced many excellent images and were sent to Tibet, China, Japan and Mongolia. The purpose of this monograph is to provide some facts, materials and information on Buddhist Iconography gathered through extensive study of canonical texts relating to Vajrayana Buddhism prevailing in Nepal and some from Tibet albeit in a humble way. The readers are specifically sculptors, artists, painters and students of Buddhism interested in Buddhist Iconography and the general public. This monograph describes important deities and images especially relevant in Nepalese context along with their functions, utility, virtues and wisdom in the path to enlightenment.

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