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  Ten Thousand Bodhisattvas

 

China

Chinese temples often display hundreds, if not thousands of small Buddha images (fig.). It is said that these represent the words spoken by the Sakyamuni Buddha, though alternatively, and especially if displayed in or represented by cone-shaped, pagoda-like structures (fig.), they may symbolize the ten thousand bodhisattvas (fig.) of the Three Ages of Buddhism, as known in Mahayana Buddhism.