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Palm-leaf pages, wooden covers; ink and color on palm leaves
Overall: 6.5 x 57 x 1.5 cm (2 9/16 x 22 7/16 x 9/16 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1938.301.1
The criss-cross pattern at the holes references the ribbons and cords that would have bound the book together.
The inner side of the top cover is fully painted with images of the Five Transcendent Buddhas of Esoteric Buddhism. Each one has a different color, meaningful hand gesture, and is associated with a spatial direction. In the center is the white Vairochana holding his hands in the enlightenment mudra, flanked by gracefully painted attendant bodhisattvas holding their hands in gestures of veneration. On either side of the binding holes are the other four Transcendent Buddhas Akshobyha (blue, earth-touching mudra, east) and Amitabha (red, meditation mudra, west), and on the ends are Ratnasambhava (gold, gift-giving mudra, south) and Amoghasiddhi (green, fear-not mudra, north).
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