Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Vajrabhairava (Buddhist Deity) - with consort

རྡོ་རྗེ་འཇིགས་འབྱེད། 金刚大威德(佛教本尊)
(item no. 68853)
Origin Location Mongolia
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Gelug and Buddhist
Material Metal, Mercuric Gild
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Animal-Feature

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Vajrabhairava (Tibetan: dor je jig je. English: Vajra Terror) with the consort Vajra Vetali surrounded by the main protectors of the Gelugpa School.

Vajrabhairava is a wrathful form of Manjushri and functions as a meditational deity of the Anuttarayoga Classification in Tantric Buddhism. Vajrabhairava is NOT a protector deity and is NOT included in any Buddhist classifications of protectors. As a principal meditational deity Vajrabhairava, belongs to the Vajrabhairava and Yamari class of tantras and specifically arises from the Vajrabhairava Root Tantra (Tib.: jig je tsa gyu). The Vajrabhairava and Yamari Tantras belong to the method (father) classification of Anuttaryoga Tantra.

The practice of Vajrabhairava is common to the three main Sarma Schools of Tibetan Buddhism: Sakya, Kagyu and Gelug. Among the Sakya it is counted as one of the four main tantric deities along with Hevajra, Guhyasamaja and Chakrasamvara (Tib.: gyu de shi). Amongst the various Kagyu Schools the Drigungpa are strong upholders of the practice. In the Gelug School Vajrabhairava is the principal meditational deity taught for Anuttarayoga practice along with the meditational deities Akshobhyavajra Guhyasamaja and Chakrasamvara. There are numerous forms and styles of practice from the very complex with numerous deities to the very concise with a single Heruka form - one face and two arms. From amongst the many different lineages and teachings of Vajrabhairava to enter Tibet it is said that the main ones were those of Rwa Lotsawa and Mal Lotsawa.

Jeff Watt [updated 2-2019]

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

Thematic Sets
Buddhist Deity: Vajrabhairava (Mongolian Sculpture Masterworks)
Collection of RMA: Best of Collection 2
Buddhist Deity: Vajrabhairava, Sculpture
Collection of RMA: Selected Sculpture
Sculpture: Zanabazar Style (Mongolia)
Buddhist Deity: Vajrabhairava (Sculpture Masterworks)
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Mongolia
Region: Mongolia, School of Zanabazar (Masterworks)
Region: Mongolia [Medium & Type]
Collection of RMA: Best of Collection (Sculpture)
Region: Mongolia Main Page
Buddhist Deity: Vajrabhairava Main Page
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Sculpture (Gallery 1)
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Zanabazar Style & Atelier
Sculpture: Zanabazar Style (Wrathful Appearance)