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

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

wood (plant material), h 237cm × w 146cm × d 62.5cm 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 Asian pavilion, room 2 Visit via the Highlights Asian Pavilion tour

Listen to audio fragment (from the multimedia tour)

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