Wooden Kinnari figure, Burma


Period:XVIIIth century



Kinnara (male) and Kinnari (female) are chimeric creatures half human-half bird (in India, half horse instead).

They both are lower creatures of pleasure, kinnaras beeing lovers and celestial musicians where Kinnaris are renowned for their dance, song, poetry beauty and grace.

A citation of the Mahabharata describes them as: "We are everlasting lover and beloved. We never separate. We are eternally husband and wife; never do we become mother and father. No offspring is seen in our lap. We are lover and beloved ever-embracing. In between us we do not permit any third creature demanding affection. Our life is a life of perpetual pleasure."

Burmese Buddhists believe that out of the 136 past animal lives of Buddha, four were Kinnaras.