Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Vajrapani (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity)

ཕྱག་ན་རྡོ་རྗེ། 金刚手菩萨
(item no. 11)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1400 - 1499
Lineages Nyingma and Kagyu
Size 43.82x41.28cm (17.25x16.25in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment, Fine Gold Line on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# P1994.7.1
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Vajrapani and Consort (Tibetan: chag na dor je yab yum. English: the Vajra Holder): wrathful Tutelary Deity, representing the power of all Buddhas.

Sanskrit: Vajrapani Tibetan: chag na dor je

Blue in colour, with one face and two hands he holds aloft in the right a golden vajra scepter. The left hand holds a vajra handled bell and embraces the consort who is also blue with one face and two hands. Yellow hair flows upward from the top of the head. Adorned with gold and jewel ornaments, a crown, bracelets and the like, the upper body is covered with the hide of an elephant skin. The lower body is wrapped with a tiger skin. Above a sun disc and multi-coloured lotus blossom, he stands atop two prone figures, blue and red, surrounded by the orange-red flames of pristine awareness. Twenty-one garuda birds of various colours issue outward from the body of Vajrapani and consort.

At the top center is the primordial Buddha Vajradhara red Vajrayogini on the right and blue wrathful Vajrapani on the left. Further to the right are four figures, two mahasiddhas, a Tibetan type yogi wearing a white cotton garment followed by a monk wearing a pandita hat. Below those are three more monks. At the left side are three mahasiddha figures followed by a monk and below them another three monks with the last facing outward rather than looking in towards the lineage and deity. Descending down each side of the painting are seven wrathful deities similar in appearance to Vajrapani and consort. The first two on the right are without consorts and again the first of those is white in colour. On the left the first is green in colour and is without a consort. The second is Black Jambhala, holding a skullcup and mongoose. Along the bottom are four peaceful and four wrathful deities.

Jeff Watt 4-2004

Front of Painting
English Translation of Inscription: No Inscriptions.

Reverse of Painting
English Translation of Inscription: No Inscriptions.

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery VI
Buddhist Deity: Vajrapani Main Page (Peaceful & Wrathful)
Painting Style: Tibet (Balri)
Subject: Composition - Registers
Subject: Lineage Paintings - Alternating