Two temple guardians, anonymous, c. 1300 - c. 1400

Two temple guardians, anonymous, c. 1300 - c. 1400

wood (plant material), h 239.5cm × w 131.5cm × d 62cm More details

Temple guardians are placed at the entrance to a temple to ward off evil. Each of these figures holds a vajra for crushing ignorance. Their open and closed mouths represent a and un, the first and final syllables of Siddham (a script used to write Sanskrit): these syllables symbolize all spoken sounds and scripts, thus all knowledge. Worshippers who enter the temple precinct through the guardians’ gate symbolically acquire this knowledge.

On display in room 2

Collections with this work

Asian sculpture

Rijksmuseum

Mouths

Sloan Nota

2 days ago - 58 works 94 0

Myth + Tale

Sloan Nota

2 days ago - 355 works 1158 8