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Book: Setting Out on the Great Way

Chapter: Looking for Mahāyāna Bodhisattvas: A Reflection on Visual Evidence in Early Indian Buddhism

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.24517


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.

Chapter Contributors

  • Juhyung Rhi ( - jrhi) 'Seoul National University'