Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Pratisara (Buddhist Deity) - (Four faces, Eight Hands)

སོ་སོར་འབྲང་མ། ནང་ལྷ། 随求佛母(佛教本尊)
(item no. 65444)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1300 - 1399
Lineages Buddhist
Size 29.60cm (11.65in) high
Material Metal, Precious Stone, Stone Inset: Turquoise
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Pratisara, Maha, of the Pancha Raksha. The Five Protectors are a group of five deities that are the personifications of five early Buddhist texts (sutra), the oldest dated to the 4th century A.D. The personifications are also of the special verbal utterances called mantras. These five deities each have specific functions and are directed towards accomplishing worldly welfare and happiness, preventing and surviving natural disasters, curing snakebite, overcoming fear and averting pestilence and epidemics.

There are many forms for each these five deities, with multiple heads and arms, and many different traditions of practice. They are popular throughout the Himalayas and Central Asia and can also be found in China and Japan.

Jeff Watt 5-2005


Religions of India In Practice, edited by Donald S. Lopez, Jr. Princeton University Press, 1995. The Power of Mantra: A Story of the Five Protectors. Todd T Lewis, pp.227-234.

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Exhibition Appearances
Exhibition: Female Buddhas at RMA

Thematic Sets
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Collection of RMA: Selected Sculpture
Tibet: Densatil Monastery Style Sculpture
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Buddhist Deity: Pratisara Masterworks
Sculpture: Figurative, Stone Inlay
Tibet: Densatil (Pancha Raksha)
Publication: SP 4
HAR: Utilities Page
Buddhist Deity: Pratisara Main Page
Buddhist Deity: Pancha Raksha (Sculpture Masterworks)
Tibet: Densatil (Masterworks)
Buddhist Deity: Pancha Raksha Main Page
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Sculpture (Gallery 1)
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Nepal