|Date Range||1400 - 1499|
|Lineages||Sakya and Buddhist|
Vajra Nairatmya (Tib.: dor je dag me ma. English: the Selfless One, or Egoless One): from the Hevajra and Samputa Tantras - both early and important texts of the Vajrayana tradition of Buddhism. Nairatmya is a meditational deity and partner to Hevajra. There are many different forms and combinations of forms for the two deities, alone, or as a couple in ecstatic embrace.
This sculpture, commissioned by Chokyi Zangpo, would have been part of a set depicting either the abbreviated or extensive lineage of the Sakya Lamdre cycle of teachings - also known as the Margapala - the Path Together with the Result. It is a common practice when commissioning a large set of sculpture or paintings to solicit friends, family, or village families to each sponsor a single object thus spreading the financial cost over many people rather than just one.
"Vajra Nairatma, [with] a body black in colour, one face and two hands. The right [hand] holds aloft a curved knife and the left a skullcup to the heart, and carrying a katvanga [in the bend of] the elbow. Having three eyes and bared fangs. Yellow hair bristling upwards. A crown of five dry human skulls and a necklace of fifty. Adorned with the five ornaments of bone. Wearing a lower garment of tiger skin. Standing on a corpse seat in a dancing manner with the left leg extended in a half [vajrasana] posture." (Konchog Lhundrub, 1497-1557).
Jeff Watt 2-2014