Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Mandala of Buddhakapala (Buddhist Deity)

སངས་རྒྱས་ཐོད་པ། 佛陀嘎巴拉金刚
(item no. 643)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1500 - 1599
Lineages Buddhist
Size 28.58x26.67cm (11.25x10.50in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# F1998.11.3
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Buddha Kapala, Heruka. The appearance and iconography of the deity is most similar to the deity Buddha Kapala in Heruka form, without a consort.

This deity at first appears to be a depiction of the Four Armed female deity Vajra Nairatmya from the Samputa Tantra. However, the number of deities in the retinue do not match the standard texts that describe the various mandalas of Nairatmya. The Samputa Tantra Nairatmya has one face and four hands but also has a retinue of twenty-three deities. Here the painting only has eight retinue figures. Also, the colours of the eight figures do not conform to known systems. The central figure matches in bodily appearance but does not match with the attributes held in the hands. It is possible that this mandala configuration comes out of another of the Hevajra Cycle of Tantras such as the Mahamudratilaka Tantra.

Jeff Watt 7-2002

Secondary Images
Related Items
Exhibition Appearances
Exhibition: Female Buddhas at Bruce Museum of Art

Thematic Sets
Buddhist Deity: Deities (Female)
Mandalas: Female Deities
Buddhist Deity: Buddhakapala Main Page
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Mandala
Mandala: Iconography
Mandala: Mandala Main Page
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 3