Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Vairochana Buddha

ཀུན་རིག་རྣམ་པར་སྣང་མཛད། 普明大日如来(佛教本尊)
(item no. 69628)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1300 - 1399
Lineages Buddhist
Material Metal
Collection Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Catalogue # S2000.10
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Vairochana, Buddha (Tibetan: nang par nang dze, sang gye): a principal buddha within Vajrayana Buddhism residing in the center or eastern quarter of the mandala, and a minor buddha within the sutra tradition of the Mahayana.

"Arising in the eastern direction is Vairochana on a lion, lotus and moon throne; with a body white in colour the hands are in the mudra of supreme enlightenment." (Dragpa Gyaltsen, 1147-1216).

Belonging to a larger set of sculptures containing the buddhas of all five families, Vairochana plays a central role in Vajrayana Buddhism as Lord of the 1st of the Five Buddha Families of the higher tantras and found throughout all 4 tantra classifications most notably the yoga and anuttarayoga classes. He is represented in the Charya tantra classification by the important Vairochana Abhisambodhi Tantra in 26 chapters and in the Yoga classification by the Sarvadurgati Parishodhana Tantra.

Jeff Watt 9-99

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Buddhist Deity: Vairochana Buddha Main Page