Han Dynasty Earthenware Ming qi Lidded Vessel
AGE: – Han Dynasty Circa 206 B.C. – 220 A.D.
CONSTRUCTION: – Earthenware (Firing flaw only on the base)
HEIGHT: – 17cm
WEIGHT:– 3.85 kg.
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Han Dynasty Earthenware Ming qi Lidded Vessel decorated with a red and blue geometric design around the outside body of the vessel with unusual motifs on the lid showing three figures, all with human bodies and an animal head, resembling the horse-necked deity referred to as Hayagriva. The Hayagriva is one of the avatars of Lord Vishnu worshipped in Hindu mythology, he is the God of knowledge and wisdom.
We would think It extremely rare to see a figure of the Hayagriva deity, (one of the avatars of Vishnu} on Han Dynasty funerary objects, This suggests that during the later Han Dynasty when Buddhism was first introduced into China by Buddhist monks from India, Vaishnavism would also have had an influence on some people as Vaishnavite traditions were intertwined with Buddhism. Vaishnavism and Tantric beliefs and practices did not become very popular or influential in China for various reasons:
- One reason is that Chinese Buddhism already had well-established schools and doctrines that did not need or welcome radical innovations.
- Another reason is that Vaishnavite and tantric practices faced opposition from Confucian authorities and scholars who regarded them as superstitious, immoral, or foreign.
- A third reason is that Vaishnavite and tantric practices in Buddhism were more suited to the cultural and geographical context of Tibet and Nepal, where it flourished under the patronage of kings and lamas.