Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Vajrasattva (Buddhist Deity) - White (with consort)

རྡོ་རྗེ་སེམས་དཔའ། 金刚萨埵
(item no. 83419)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Nyingma and Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Peaceful

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Vajrasattva with consort (Tibetan: dor je sem pa yab yum. English: Vajra Hero Father-Mother), the buddha of purification, essence of all the peaceful Buddha Families, embracing the consort Vajragarvi (Tib.: dor je nye ma, Eng.: Vajra Pride, also known in Tibetan as dor je ying wang chug ma, Sanskrit: Vajradhatu-ishvari).

Sanskrit: Vajrasattva Tibetan: Dor je sem pa

With one face and two hands, white in colour, the buddha Vajrasattva holds in the right hand an upright gold vajra to the heart and with the left an upturned bell, with a vajra handle, at the left hip. Adorned with elaborate jewel and gold ornaments, a crown, earrings, necklace, bracelets and the like, he wears a long orange scarf and various multi-coloured silks as a lower garment. With the back swaying slightly and both legs placed in vajra posture the consort Vajragarvi is seated in the lap with the legs entwining the Lord. Gazing up, with one face and two hands, she embraces the Lord with a skullcup in the left hand and a curved knife in the right; adorned with similar jewel ornaments and coloured silks.

The two faces are surrounded by a dark green aureole and from the body fine rays emanate to form a nimbus of orange light against a background of cloud and flowers. Both are seated on a white moon disc above a multi-coloured lotus blossom on a ground adorned with the offerings of the five senses.

"To the divine illusion of the clear light of pristine awareness blazing with the glorious complete marks and examples of the spontaneous three bodies of perfect buddhahood; to Vajrasattva I bow." (Nyingma liturgical text).

In the Sarma Schools this form of Vajrasattva with consort arises from the class of Anuttarayoga Tantra, specifically from the Abhidhanottara Tantra, 25th chapter, and is known as Heruka Vajrasattva. As the inner form of the buddha Vajradhara he represents all the peaceful buddha families. In the Nyingma Tradition Vajrasattva is an important meditational deity with many Kama (Oral) and Terma (treasure) traditions.

Jeff Watt 9-98

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