Image of Tara, About AD 700—800, Found between Tnncomalee and Batticaloa.
Tara, the goddess of compassion, is one of the most popular Buddhist goddesses. She is the consort of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. Unusually for such a large sculpture, this figure was cast in solid bronze then gilded. The eyes were probably set with precious stones. The medallion in her hair perhaps contained a seated image of Amitabha, the Buddha of infinite
light. Mahayana ('Great Vehicle') Buddhism emphasises compassion, exemplified by the bodhisattvas. The presence of this figure in Sri Lanka provides striking evidence for the presence of Mahayana Buddhism there.
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