Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Vajrayogini (Buddhist Deity) - (Naropa Tradition)

རྡོ་རྗེ་རྣལ་འབྱོར་མ། སྣང་བརྙན་ཡོངས། 金刚瑜伽佛母(全图)
(item no. 334)
Origin Location Central Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Sakya and Ngor (Sakya)
Size 90.81x57.79cm (35.75x22.75in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment, Fine Gold Line on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# F1997.22.1
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Semi-Peaceful

Gender: Female

Interpretation / Description

Vajrayogini and the Pure Land of Khechara (Tibetan: dor je nal jor ma, kha cho), from the tradition of mahasiddha Naropa. A deity of the Anuttarayoga wisdom class arising out of the Chakrasamvara cycle of Tantras.

Sanskrit: Vajrayogini Tibetan: Dor je nal jor ma

The dakini Vajrayogini, of the Naro Khechari lineage, is the small central red figure with one face and two hands surrounded by a ring of flame standing on a double tetrahedron within a three-storied heavenly palace. Resting on a large double vajra within a circular mandala within the larger buddha realm of Akanishta, this is the pure buddha-realm of Vajrayogini. Below are six offering goddesses and two animal-headed protector deities as door guardians. On the upper floor is Heruka Chakrasamvara and the Sakya gurus of the Vajrayogini lineage. On the top story is buddha Vajradharma, red, holding a vajra and bell crossed at the heart, seated.

At the very top, and to the right and left, are rows of Lamas from a more recent era. The sky is filled with flying dakinis, yogis and monks who have attained the realm of Khecara.

Along the bottom are the main protectors of the Sakya School. At the left is Panjarnata Mahakala with one face and two hands. In the corner below is Brahmarupa Mahakala and alongside is Shri Devi (Tib.: pal den lha mo) with four hands and riding a brown mule. At the right side is Magzor Gyalmo with two hands, riding a mule, along with the two skeletons Shri Chitipati and in the corner - the Guardian of the Northern Direction Vaishravana.

Vajrayogini is a representation of complete buddhahood in female form. Classified as Wisdom or 'Mother' Anuttarayoga Tantra the practices originate with the Chakrasamvara Cycle of Tantras. Although found in a variety of forms the practice is common to all schools of Tibetan Buddhism. In this form she represents a special teaching passed down from the lineage of the Indian mahasiddha Naropa through to the Sakya School and later found popularity within the Gelugpa Tradition.

Guru Lineage: Vajradhara, Vajrayogini, mahasiddha Naropa, Phamthingpa, Sherab Tseg, Mal Lotsawa, Sachen Kunga Nyingpo, Sonam Tsemo, Trakpa Gyaltsen, Sakya Pandita, Chogyal Pagpa, etc.

Jeff Watt 5-98

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Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 2
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