Need help identifying some items found at a store.

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MJAM
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Need help identifying some items found at a store.

Post by MJAM » Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:25 am

Sorry if I am in the wrong place for this question but this is the only place i know to ask.

Can anyone tell me what these items are for?

Image

https://static.wixstatic.com/media/8c92 ... _s_4_2.jpg

samsarictravelling
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Re: Need help identifying some items found at a store.

Post by samsarictravelling » Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:48 am

MJAM wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:25 am
Sorry if I am in the wrong place for this question but this is the only place i know to ask.

Can anyone tell me what these items are for?

Image

https://static.wixstatic.com/media/8c92 ... _s_4_2.jpg
I don't know, but the two side containers look like incense burners for cone (and/or?) coil types of incense?

For example:

Exquisite beautifully handcrafted Tibetan style incense metal burner. Heavy quality perforated scroll pattern lid cover, with eight auspicious tibetan symbols all round, is suitable for normal cone, back flow cone, powder, small coil and incense sticks.

Image

Source: https://sg.carousell.com/p/%E2%96%B2bn- ... 132020994/


Household incense burner pure copper antique sandalwood furnace Buddha incense burner

Image

Source: https://www.qoo10.sg/item/HOUSEHOLD-INC ... /626374842


As for the middle tall container, it looks like a normal incense burner for stick incense (you have to put rice or whatever in it as a substrate, so that you can stick incense into it). This middle tall container actually looks like it is connected to the bottom plate, that is also a tray for the other two cone (and/or?) coil type of incense incense-burners (I am guessing these two side containers are also incense burners (of the cone and/or coil types)).

If the set of three are actually incense burners, then I don't know what Buddhist tradition(s) they were orginally made for (for example: Tibetan, Mahayana, and/or Theravada).

samsarictravelling

MJAM
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Re: Need help identifying some items found at a store.

Post by MJAM » Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:41 pm

Thank you so much for your help, I think you are right on. :thanks:

samsarictravelling
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Re: Need help identifying some items found at a store.

Post by samsarictravelling » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:38 am

MJAM wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:41 pm
Thank you so much for your help, I think you are right on. :thanks:
You're welcome. I never had this either (never had a coil incense burner, and other types of incense burner, including (they said in the first image) powder incense, too; but I have seen coil incense (and cone incense, I think) but never powder incense), but thought later that the two side containers maybe was instead for this:

Those two side containers could maybe hold perfume? I don't know.

But if you think I'm right on that all three are incense burners, then so be it. I'm only pretty sure of the centre vase as being for stick incense. Also, of course, you fill this centre vase with rice grains, or some other substrate I guess, not cooked rice.

samsarictravelling

MJAM
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Re: Need help identifying some items found at a store.

Post by MJAM » Sun Mar 10, 2019 3:01 am

I know that there seems to be some contention as to whether or not Buddhist worship Gods, so I hesitate to call this statue a depiction of a God. But I am trying to pinpoint what "Goddess" this is attempting to portray. If there is anyone who can help me here, that would be great.

Image

https://static.wixstatic.com/media/c98b ... 52_s_2.jpg

samsarictravelling
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Re: Need help identifying some items found at a store.

Post by samsarictravelling » Sun Mar 31, 2019 10:51 pm

MJAM wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 3:01 am
I know that there seems to be some contention as to whether or not Buddhist worship Gods, so I hesitate to call this statue a depiction of a God. But I am trying to pinpoint what "Goddess" this is attempting to portray. If there is anyone who can help me here, that would be great.

Image

https://static.wixstatic.com/media/c98b ... 52_s_2.jpg
Chinese Buddhism has heavens with maidens who play instruments, I guess. Maybe this is a depiction of one of them? 'Journey to the West' ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journey_to_the_West ) 'is a Chinese novel published in the 16th century during the Ming dynasty and attributed to Wu Cheng'en. It is one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. Arthur Waley's popular abridged translation, Monkey, is well known in English-speaking countries.'

That novel is just my example of something that has Chinese heavens in it.

Look into the Taoist religion, and you would find Chinese heavens also?

Popular Buddhism in China -- with devotional practices like lighting incense, etc -- would have these Chinese heavens in their belief system?

samsarictravelling

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Re: Need help identifying some items found at a store.

Post by samsarictravelling » Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:25 pm

samsarictravelling wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:38 am
MJAM wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:41 pm
Thank you so much for your help, I think you are right on. :thanks:
...

Those two side containers could maybe hold perfume? I don't know.

...
Years ago when I was looking at celebration photos -- for Thai New Year or something -- that happened at Metta Forest Monastery (of Thanissaro Bhikkhu's) I saw a photo of a receptacle of water with flowers or flower petals in it. The caption said it was perfumed water.

I don't think coil incense could ever pass through the necks of the two side containers.

Because of that perfumed water receptacle with flowers or flower petals in it, I think these two side containers could hold perfumed water.

samsarictravelling

EDIT: I just looked at the two side vases again, and I guess they could hold very small coil incense --if there are such things as small coil incenses.

SECOND EDIT: Fire goes out when there is not enough oxygen. Can any incense (coil incense, or any other incense) still burn with the lids-with-small-holes put on top of these two side vases?

samsarictravelling

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Dhammanando
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Re: Need help identifying some items found at a store.

Post by Dhammanando » Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:27 am

MJAM wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 3:01 am
But I am trying to pinpoint what "Goddess" this is attempting to portray.
Sarasvatī
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

samsarictravelling
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Re: Need help identifying some items found at a store.

Post by samsarictravelling » Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:54 am

Bhikkhu Dhammanando may be correct,

because googling:

chinese goddesses playing musical instruments

( https://www.google.com/search?q=chinese ... 20&bih=889 )

does give evidence for it.

But, also evidence for, instead, apsaras:

China
Apsaras are often depicted as flying figures in the mural paintings and sculptures of Buddhist cave sites in China such as in the Mogao Caves, Yulin Caves, and the Yungang and Longmen Grottoes. They may also be depicted as dancers or musicians. They are referred to as feitian (飞天) in Chinese.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apsara

samsarictravelling

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Re: Need help identifying some items found at a store.

Post by samsarictravelling » Wed Apr 03, 2019 3:30 am

I hope this is my last post about your two photos (one of supposed buddhist altar stuff, and the other one of the statue).

If Bhikkhu Dhammanando's answer does not really answer your question, you can also try, if you have not yet done this, 'Dharma Wheel' message board (the Mahayana message board affiliated with this Theravada 'Dhamma Wheel' message board; I think Mahayana Buddhism also incorporates Tibetan Buddhism, for your information).

Bhikkhu Dhammanando may be correct, because that goddess statue sure is well-clothed, covered up in lots of clothing, maybe meaning that goddess is of a high rank, as opposed to, let's say, a celestial dancer who'd be wearing less clothing? Just a take on it, but that could be a wrong assumption on my part on how "goddesses" and other celestial female beings are depicted. Also, it depends entirely on the artist and/or art business? I don't know really. Don't know about business stuff, nor am I really an artist. But let's say it's not a mass-produced statue (again: not), by one artist: that artist could basically do anything they want; they could create the statue depicting a goddess (if it is a goddess, and not, for example, a human female entertaining in a human king's court) however they want, and depending on however much (or little) knowledge they have of their subject.

You could also try asking at other Buddhist message boards, and at Quora, and at stackexchange (it's called 'stackexchange', right?).

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As for apsaras, I googled the chinese characters for the Chinese name for them, as found in that apsara wikipedia article:

飞天

( https://www.google.com/search?client=fi ... 1k#imgrc=_ )

And got one pic, for example:

Image

I translated the webpage that image is found at, with google's translation webpage ( https://translate.google.com/?um=1&ie=U ... b#auto/en/ ), but didn't get any information from the "lousy" translation.

samsarictravelling

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Re: Need help identifying some items found at a store.

Post by samsarictravelling » Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:13 pm

More on this. The mat underneath your articles looks Tibetan in style, sort of, to me.

You can also do a google search of this search phrase:

chinese Sarasvatī

https://www.google.com/search?q=chinese ... 20&bih=966

For an Images search of the above search phrase, you get entries like the first one listed:

Image

With this information at the website http://www.chinabuddhismencyclopedia.co ... /Sarasvati :

Sarasvati (Tibetan:Yanchenma; dbyangs can ma)

As the goddess of learning and arts, Sarasvati (also spelled Saraswati) is in many ways a counterpart to Manjushri, the male Bodhisattva of discriminating wisdom.

Sarasvati is a peaceful yidam who holds a vina (a sitar-like lute) on her lap; she also sometimes holds a text.

She is white-coloured with one face, two eyes, and two arms.

A thangka reproduction can be seen on Dharma Publishing's Sacred Art site.

There is also a Hindu deity named Sarasvati with near-identical attributes.

She is sometimes connected to Palden Lhamo, who may be regarded as Sarasvati in wrathful form.

She is the Hindu goddess at the beginning, were afterwards led into Tibetan buddhism, also called Fairy of Wonderful Sound.

Her body is very spotless white and her black hair is coiled on her head decorated with flowers.

She is wearing celestial clothes and the skirt in five colours.

Her left hand is holding Pipa-Lute and her right hand is picking it.

The music is so sweet that is can touch the heart of every living creature both in the heaven and in the world.

People of ancient times, being deficient in intelligence, prayed to the buddhas.

The power of these buddhas arose in the form of this goddess.

Tibetan Buddhism holds that anyone who rely on her with faith will find their wisdom becoming sharper, and their wishes for clarity of mind, accuracy of memory, and so forth will be fulfilled.

Another image listed in the search:

Image

Old China Handmade Tibetan silver Sarasvati-The pipa

So it could be Sarasvasti like Bhikkhu Dhammanando said. Or it might not be? If you can, ask the dealer who you bought it from. Or if you can reach the artist or artists who made it, ask them. (Just hope they are honest in their reply to you).

Samsarictravelling

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Re: Need help identifying some items found at a store.

Post by samsarictravelling » Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:09 am

MJAM and everyone,

I saw MJAM post about this at FreeSangha, and replied to it, about why I think it is not Kuan Yin:
http://www.freesangha.com/forums/begin ... help-8578/

samsarictravelling

EDIT:

Here is the whole repost of it:

This is samsarictravelling from 'Dhamma Wheel' message board. I just read in your post here at FreeSangha message board that you bought this item at a thrift store. Okay.

From my little knowledge of the iconography (details) of Kuan Yin/Avalokitesvara depictions, I think this Bodhisattva has the Buddha on the top of their head. The statue you show does not have a Buddha on her head. Maybe Kuan Yin might sometimes not have a Buddha on the top of her head, but maybe Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva lots of the time has the Buddha on the top of their head (in images and statues)??? I don't know. Just an opinion, be it true or untrue.

Just at the Wikipedia article on Kuan Yin (also spelt 'Guanyin')/Avalojitesvara ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guanyin ):

In the 18 images of Kuan yin/Avalokitesvara, I count:

9 seen,
7 not clearly seen or not present,
and 2 that surely do not show a Buddha on top of the head.

I show the nine that contain a Buddha (or in the cases of the 1000 eyes and hands form, and the eleven-faced form, multiple Buddhas) in this image:

Image

So I surmise Bhikkhu Dhammanando is correct to say it is Sarasvatī (at 'Dhamma Wheel' messsage board), because of the vina or lute (it's a vina or lute, right?). I could be wrong, though (and that it is actually Kuan Yin without a Buddha on the head, and holding a vina/lute (and which I've never encountered in my life before)).

But I would like to add it is a Chinese form (or 'oriental' form; not an East Indian form) of Sarasvatī -- if it is Sarasvatī -- because of the Chinese-looking face on it.

Samsarictravelling

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