Hanging scroll; ink, color, gold, silver, and cut gold on silk
Overall: 215.1 x 67.7 cm (84 11/16 x 26 5/8 in.); Overall with knobs: 215.1 x 73.3 cm (84 11/16 x 28 7/8 in.)
Gift of The Norweb Foundation 1955.44
The Six Realms of Transmigration are the: heavenly realm, hells, human realm, animal realm, realm of hungry ghosts, and realm of fierce beings.
This painting is a visual presentation of a parable ascribed to the seventh-century Chinese Buddhist monk Shandao. It describes the fraught journey to the west along a narrow path between a river of fire and a river of water. Along the way, the traveler is set upon by bandits and dangerous beasts, but is also guided by two friends. The story is an analogy for the journey out of the Six Realms of Transmigration to the Pure Land of the Buddha Amida.
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