The Journey

Portable Buddhist Shrine

  • 60
  • China
  • 10th–12th century
  • Wood
  • H. 7 1/2 x W. 8 5/16 in. (19 x 21.1 cm)
  • The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland, 61.266
  • Rajagrha
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Portable shrines like this one were used for worship and preaching by pilgrims, Buddhist missionaries, and other travelers as they moved from town to town or country to country. The main scene is the Buddha Shakyamuni's lecture on Vulture Peak, mentioned in chapter eleven of the Lotus Sutra. While he gives his sermon, a large, bejeweled stupa, here pictured as a three-storied pagoda in the register above the Buddha, appears in the heavens. Still concealed within the pagoda is the Prabhutaratna Buddha, who has arrived to hear Shakyamuni's lecture.

PHOTO CREDIT: © The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland

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