Vairocana Pillar

Scene 15, Baodingshan, Dazu (map)

This pillar is the centerpiece of grotto #15, which represents the sacred abode of Vairocana. In Huayan doctrine, Vairocana is the supreme god who presides over an infinite number of universes, in each of which a Shakyamuni Buddha is born to preach the Dharma. The idea of multiple universes has deep roots in Hindu thought, and finds a distant echo even in contemporary scientific cosmology.