Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Achala (Buddhist Deity)

མི་གཡོ་བ། 不动明王(梵名:阿遮罗)
(item no. 57256)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1200 - 1299
Lineages Buddhist
Size 29.40cm (11.57in) high
Material Copper
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Achala, Nila (English: the Blue Immovable One). There are two forms of Achala in a kneeling posture, blue and white, and several forms of Achala in a standing posture. Of the two kneeling forms the Nila (blue) Achala is more common and appears regularly in painting and sculpture. The Nila is for the removal of obstacles and has especially become associated with the meditational deity Manjushri. Although wrathful in appearance, the Sita (white) form is a wisdom and intelligence producing meditational deity. (See the Kneeling Achala Main Page).

The principal source for the Nila Achala in kneeling posture is the Sanskrit text of the Siddhaikavira Tantra. This Tantra is concerned with the description and practices of many deities but primarily is focussed on White Manjushri in the Ekavira form.

"...Lord Acala. The body is blue in colour, one face, two hands, the right brandishing to the sky a sword fiercely flaming with a mass of wisdom fire and the left at the heart, in a wrathful gesture, holding a vajra lasso wound [around the index finger] with the ends hovering above the shoulder. With bared fangs, biting down on the lower lip, possessing three eyes, the right gazes upward completely eliminating heavenly daemons. The left gazes down, destroying nagas, spirits of disease and earth lords. The middle gazes forward completely eliminating all types of obstacles. Wearing a white snake as a necklace, gathering the power of nagas, spirits of disease and earth lords; with black hair, tied in a black tuft on the crown of the head; with jewel ornaments and various silks as a lower garment. The heel of the right foot and the left knee are pressing down on the seat in a manner of rising, dwelling in the center of a flaming mass of pristine awareness fire."

(Written by Ngorchen Konchog Lhundrub (1497-1557). sGrub Thabs Kun bTus, vol.8, fol.595-597).

Jeff Watt 9-2012

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Buddhist Deity: Achala Main Page
Buddhist Deity: Achala Masterworks (Sculpture)
Tibet: Tsuglakang Temple (Deities)
Sculpture: Figurative, Stone Inlay
Tibet: Tsuglakang Temple, Lhasa (Visual Dharma)
Buddhist Deity: Achala (Kneeling) Page
Buddhist Deity: Achala (Kneeling)
Buddhist Deity: Achala (Sculpture)