Agusan Gold Vajralasya

What does the universe look like and where is your place in it? For Buddhists, the cosmos can be pictured as a mandala: a series of rings inside a square. Each realm is populated by gods and goddesses representing qualities of the natural and spiritual worlds. Buddhists believe that by meditating on a mandala, truths about the outer and inner world are revealed, bringing balance, healing, and wholeness to a person's life.

After a flood 1917, a local Filipino woman found this golden statue along a muddy bank near the Agusan River. The figure passed through many hands and was almost melted down before The Field Museum purchased it in 1922. Scholars think that the statue may represent an offering goddess from a three-dimensional Vajradhatu (Diamond World) mandala. Possibly more than 1,000 years old, this pint-sized, 18-karat gold statue is considered one of the Philippine Islands' most important cultural artifacts.


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