Looking for Mahāyāna Bodhisattvas: A Reflection on Visual Evidence in Early Indian Buddhism
Setting Out on the Great Way - Essays on Early Mahāyāna Buddhism - Paul Harrison
Juhyung Rhi [+]
Seoul National University
Juhyung Rhi is Professor of Art History in the Department of Archaeology and Art History at Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea. He has written extensively on early Indian Buddhist art, especially that of Gandhāra.
Identifying images of specific bodhisattvas whose names appear in Mahāyāna scriptures is one possible way to track evidence for the early Mahāyāna, and the author turned to this method on several previous occasions in discussing the presence of Mahāyāna in Gandhāran Buddhism. This chapter extends the search for Mahāyāna bodhisattvas to the rest of India in the period prior to the conspicuous emergence of Mahāyāna in its established form, but adopts a different approach, focusing on the complexity of identifying bodhisattvas and its implications for interpreting their representations.