Glue painting on porous loess ground; 310 x 240
The painting's subject was taken from numerous legends and
a written source, Sutra of True Deeds, describing episodes from the earthly
life of the historical Buddha Sakyamuni, wise man from the Sakya family.
Pranidhi is a Sanskrit word meaning a mortal's ''vow'' to follow the Buddha's
teaching; as an award for this he may become a Buddha (''Enlightened'')
himself, endowed with the gift of ''Foresight''.
The center of the multi-figure composition is the Buddha standing on lotuses.
He wears dark brown clothes, red cloak and long palmette necklace. His
hair and headgear are blue. He has a halo around his head and a mandorla
(like halo, symbol of divine light) behind him. The setting sun in his
hair and the right hand's gesture mean he is the Buddha Amitabha, the
Buddha of Endless Light, King of the West, Ruler of the ''Pure Land'' where
souls of the dead are reborn. The Buddha's left hand holds the cloak folds,
while his right hand with the conventional gesture of its fingers is lowered
towards the figure of a man with the appearance of a Buddha (halo, hairdo
and headgear) kneeling before him. Above the kneeling man are two figures
standing face to face; these are bodhisattvas who possess the ''Knowledge''
and have made the ''Vow'' of saving those who suffer in the vale of tears.
They wear their traditional clothes, have haloes around their heads and
hold their hands in the gesture of prayer. Above the bodhisattvas is a
monk to the left of who is a gate tower in the style of Chinese wooden
The central personage in the composition's right part is the figure of
a boy standing by the Buddha's feet, whose clothes resemble the garments
of Central Asian Brahmins. The boy holds in his hands a tray with gifts.
The bodhisattva who stands behind his back also holds gifts in his hands.
The bodhisattva depicted in the top right corner is hailing the Buddha
and showering flowers on him.
Either of the composition's halves has its meaning. The left one symbolizes
the ''granting'' of a request made by the man who ordered the painting (donator).
This man became a Buddha by transcending the circle of rebirths due to
his following the Buddha's Teaching. The right half expresses a hopeful
request of the Buddha's patronage of the donator's descendants symbolized
by the boy.
The painting is distinguished by high professionalism, bright colors,
skillful situation of figures in space and use of techniques characteristic
of the Central Asian painting of the 10th-11th centuries.