Legendary and historical figures

In a Buddhist context, patrons are individuals who commission religious deeds, and provide the means to pay for them. A commission can involve the construction of a temple or a monastery, the production of a cult image, the copying of texts, or the performance of rituals. When undertaken with the right attitude, patronage earns patrons merit.

An act of patronage produces positive karma that ensures the patron a better rebirth. In many cases, an inscription on a cult image or temple reveals the patron’s name, the year the work was commissioned, and the occasion for it.