Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Akshobhya Buddha

མི་འཁྲུགས་པ། 不动如来
(item no. 86907)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1600 - 1699
Size 75.57x49.20cm (29.75x19.37in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection The Brooklyn Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc. #BMA 78.138, Gift of Miss Alice Boney
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Akshobhya, Buddha (Tibetan: mi kyu pa, sang gye) seated in the pureland of Abhirati: a minor Buddha within the sutra tradition of the Mahayana and a principal Buddha within Vajrayana Buddhism residing in the eastern quarter of a mandala. The back of the painting is inscried with the names of the various deities.

"Arising in the eastern direction is Akshobhya on an elephant, lotus and moon throne; with a body blue in colour the right hand is placed in the mudra of pressing down." (Dragpa Gyaltsen, 1147-1216).

Occupying a central role in Vajrayana Buddhism, Akshobhya, by some accounts, is Lord of the 2nd of the Five Buddha Families of tantra and found throughout all 4 tantra classifications most notably in the anuttarayoga class. Akshobhya is also mentioned in several Mahayana sutras, the Vimalakirti Nirdesa being the most famous. It was in his pureland of Abhirati, attainable only by 8th level bodhisattvas, where the great Tibetan yogi Milarepa and the scholar Sakya Pandita obtained complete buddhahood.

Jeff Watt 3-2002

Secondary Images
Related Items
Publication: Tibetan Painted Scrolls

Thematic Sets
Buddhist Deity: Akshobhya Buddha Main Page (阿閦佛)
Collection of Brooklyn Museum of Art
Collection of Brooklyn Museum of Art (Buddhas)
Buddhist Deity: Akshobhya Buddha (Abhirati Pureland)