Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Vajrapani (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity)

ཕྱག་ན་རྡོ་རྗེ། 金刚手菩萨
(item no. 68451)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1200 - 1299
Lineages Buddhist
Material Metal, Painted Face/Hair
Collection Nyingjei Lam
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Vajrapani, Krodha.

Vajrapani is wrathful in appearance with one face and two hands. The right hand holds aloft a five pronged vajra scepter. The left hand is upraised with the finger in a threatening gesture. The right leg is bent and the left straight with both feet atop two seated lions and elephants. The eyes are wide and bulging and the upper teeth are biting down on the lower lip and a snake partially outside of the mouth. The hair is orange and flowing upwards framing the figure of what appears to be Heruka Chakrasamvara. Flowers adorn the upper portion of the ears and he wears coiled snake earrings. Snakes are also used for armlets, a long necklace and anklets. His lower body is wrapped with a tiger skin. He stands atop a double lotus above a square throne decorated with an upright vajra and two weapon wheels. To the left and right sides of the head are a sun disc and crescent moon with a flaming full torana behind.

The iconography of this form of Vajrapani has not yet been identified. There are many unusual characteristics to the sculpture such as the small figure on the top of the head, the sun and moon, biting down on the lower lip, the two heads appearing in the torana on the middle left and right sides, and the lion and elephant supports beneath the feet, along with the vajra and wheels on the throne. .

Jeff Watt 10-2019

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Buddhist Deity: Vajrapani Main Page
Collection of Nyingjei Lam
Buddhist Deity: Vajrapani, Sculpture
Collection of Nyingjei Lam (Deities)
Collection of Nyingjei Lam (Bonhams, HK 2019)
Buddhist Deity: Vajrapani, Wrathful Forms (Early Sculpture)