I love animals in Buddhist art and other sacred images such as Buddhist painting. I have a little bronze sleeping cat resting in the hands of my Shan Buddha and a ring of about 16 different bronze animals at the foot of a small Buddhist statue shrine. A lovely reminder to be kind to all beings.
This Manjushri on a lion is a much more powerful Buddhist Statue, hand carved wood carving from an old suar tree. Gorgeous, heavy wood and exquisite carving, honoring the tree it came from. Manjushri traditionally represents the realization of transcendent wisdom symbolized by his raised sword, which cuts through ignorance and the illusion of duality.
In this carving he is taming him wild mind, symbolized by the ferocious lion, with meditation.
I found it interesting that Mañjuśrī is also known by the fuller name of Mañjuśrīkumārabhūta, literally "Mañjuśrī, Still a Youth". This Mañjuśrī, has a gentle young quality about him and his presence is calm despite the growling lion under him.
You can buy this Buddha statue on line on my web site and I will miss him when he is gone! And be happy he has found the place he is meant to be.
A lesson in present moment appreciation and letting go.