Symbols and Meanings


Bodhisattvas are beings who aspire to become awakened like the Buddha and are dedicated to helping others achieve this too.

They are portrayed adorned with crowns, jeweled ornaments, and garments of ancient Indian royalty. The greatest of the bodhisattvas are near enlightenment and are regarded as deities with abilities practically equal to those of buddhas. They can be identified by distinctive attributes that symbolize their particular qualities, such as the book and sword—representations of wisdom.

Objects in the Exhibition