Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Sarasvati (Indian Goddess & Buddhist Deity)

དབྱངས་ཅན་མ། 辯才天女
(item no. 40384)
Origin Location Mongolia
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Paper
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Red Sarasvati (Tibetan: yang chen mar mo): according to the tradition of the Kashmiri Pandita Shakyashri Bhadra and the Tibetan teacher Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyaltsen.

"...the goddess Sarasvati, with a body coral in colour, like the colour red, [with] one face and two arms. The right hand holds a wish-fulfilling jewel and the left a mirror of wisdom. The right leg is extended and the left drawn in. [With] large, swelling breasts and adorned with a crown of jewels, a short necklace, bracelets, anklets and a long necklace and the like, and wearing a flowing lower garment and various silks, [she is] youthful, sixteen years of age, serious, peaceful and smiling, with a charming manner. Immeasurable rays of light shine forth. Perceiving the lack of inherent self-existence, the inside of the body is like a clear reflection." (extracted from the Goddess of Melodious Speech. Written by Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyaltsen, 1182-1251. Translation 1987).

"...the goddess Sarasvati with a body coral in colour, like a mass of heaped particles blazing with a radiance wreathed by a thousand rising suns; very beautiful, peaceful, smiling, a charming youth of sixteen years. The right hand extended in salutation holds a wishing jewel and in the left a bright clear mirror of pristine awareness. The two feet at play, the right extended and left drawn up, on a lotus and moon; adorned with beautiful silk and jewel ornaments; the union of appearance emptiness like the reflection of the moon in water." (Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, 1820-1892. Translation 1987).

Jeff Watt 2-2009

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