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Research on the Image of the Vairocana Dharmadātu: a Link to the Qiuci Grotto Murals
Zhang Zong CASS Beijing
The author has previously researched the Vairocana dharmadhātu image from the Qiuci Grotto Murals. In this paper the author will make a deeper and broader study of the same subject for this conference. The Vairocana dharmadhātu image is a very special Buddhist Image, consisting of many small images on a statue. It describes the Buddhist cosmology and concept of time. For example, it describes the Sumeru and the transmigration of the Six or Five Destinies. Some forms of this image were spread in Xinjiang, and the Hexi region of Gansu province, as well as Hebei and Henan provinces. The image appears in the murals of Dunhuang, the Da Zhishen Grottoes, and in Shandong Province. The University of Zhongshan has a good collection of such images. Some Vairocana dharmadhātu images have been unearthed in Qingzhou and Tai-an, in Shangdong province. These examples from unpublished material allow us to notice different regional features.