Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Achala (Buddhist Deity) - Blue, Kneeling

མི་གཡོ་བ། 不动明王(梵名:阿遮罗)
(item no. 65447)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1300 - 1399
Lineages Buddhist
Material Metal
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Wrathful

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Achala (English: the 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 Achala (blue) 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 Achala (white), the second of the two forms is a wisdom and intelligence producing meditational deity similar to Manjushri, Sarasvati, Prajnaparamita, White Vajravarahi and Maitreya.

"...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 [updated 8-2017]

Related Items
Exhibition Appearances
Faith & Empire: Art & Politics in Tibetan Buddhism

Publications
Glossary: Postures in Iconography

Thematic Sets
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Densatil Sculpture
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Sculpture (Gallery 1)
Buddhist Deity: Achala Main Page
Collection of RMA: Best of Collection 2
Collection of RMA: Selected Sculpture
Buddhist Deity: Achala (Kneeling) Page
Buddhist Deity: Achala (Kneeling)
Buddhist Deity: Achala (Sculpture)
Collection of Jourdan-Barry
Buddhist Deity: Achala Masterworks (Sculpture)