Himalayan Art Resources

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

རྡོ་རྗེ་རྣལ་འབྱོར་མ། སྣང་བརྙན་ཡོངས། 金刚瑜伽佛母(全图)
(item no. 442)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Sakya, Ngor (Sakya) and Gelug
Size 30.48x30.48cm (12x12in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment, Fine Gold Line on Wood
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# F1996.11.6
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Semi-Peaceful

Gender: Female

Interpretation / Description

Vajrayogini Mandala (Tibetan: dor je nal jor ma kyil khor, na ro kha chod ma). The dakini Naro Khechari from the tradition of the Indian mahasiddha Naropa.

Sanskrit: Vajrayogini Tibetan: Dor je nal jor ma

In the center of two crossed red triangles stands Vajrayogini, red in colour, with one face and two hands. In the left hand she holds upraised to the sky a skullcup and in the right a curved knife pointed downwards. Against the left shoulder rests a katvanga staff decorated with silk streamers. Adorned with a tiara of skulls, bone ornaments and a necklace of fifty skulls, she stands with the two feet placed on the two gods Kalaratri and Bhairava, above a sun disc and lotus, completely surrounded by the orange flames of wisdom.

The two crossed triangles are each bordered by a yellow edge and the two protruding wings at each side contain small white circles. This geometric structure is placed in the middle of a green circle of swirling vine like patterns surrounded by a ring of lotus petals (Sanskrit: padmavali). In an outer circle around that is the light coloured circle of the eight great charnel grounds. Surrounding that is the small blue circle with alternating gold vajras and gold lines (Skt.: vajravali). The outermost circle is composed of the five coloured flames (Skt.: jvalavali) of the fires of pristine awareness.

Vajrayogini belongs to the 'wisdom class' of Anuttarayoga tantra and arises specifically from the Chakrasamvara cycle of Tantras. In Tibet, the practice of Naro Khecari is included amongst the 13 Golden Dharmas of Glorious Sakya. In more recent times the practice has gained popularity within the Gelugpa School.

Distant Lineage: Vajradharma, Vajrayogini, Mahasiddha Ghantapada, Tengipa, Antarapa, Tilopa, Naropa, etc.

Near Lineage: Vajradhara, Vajrayogini, Naropa, the Phamtingpa brothers, Lokkya Sherab Tseg, Mal Lotsawa Lodro Dragpa, Sachen Kunga Nyingpo (1092-1158), etc.

The painting style with dominant red and blue colours and the intricate floral background designs shows a strong Nepali influence.

Jeff Watt 7-98

Related Items
Exhibition Appearances
Exhibition: Mandala, The Perfect Circle (RMA)

Thematic Sets
Subject: Svastika - Bliss Whorl Confusion
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Mandala
Mandala: Main Page
Mandala: Geometric Shaped Mandalas
Tradition: Gelug Deity Paintings
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery II
Tradition: Sakya Deity Paintings
Buddhist Deity: Vajrayogini Main Page
Painting Style: Tibet (Balri)
Mandalas: Sakya Tradition
Tradition: Gelug Mandalas
Mandalas: Gelug Tradition
Buddhist Deity: Deities (Female)
Mandalas: Female Deities
Buddhist Deity: Vajrayogini Mandalas
Buddhist Deity: Vajrayogini, Khechari Manadala
Buddhist Deity: Vajrayogini, Khechara (Naropa Tradition)
Buddhist Deity: Vajrayogini Mandala Plate (Naropa)
Mandala: Ritual Mandala Plate (Wood)
Mandala: Vajrayogini Mandala Plate