Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Vajradhara Buddha

རྡོ་རྗེ་འཆང། སངས་རྒྱས། 金刚持
(item no. 86923)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Size 78.41x53.34cm (30.87x21in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection The Brooklyn Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc. #BMA 81.279, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Stanislaw J. Czuma
Painting School Karma Gardri
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Vajradhara, Buddha (Tibetan: dor je chang, sang gye. English: the Vajra Holder, Enlightened One). The primordial Buddha, personification of the dharmakaya - truth body of enlightenment and progenitor of the Vajrayana system of Buddhism.

"Master of all-pervasive pristine awareness, unmoving great bliss of dharmata, unsurpassed treasure of wishing jewels; homage to the great Vajradhara." (Nyingma liturgical verse).

According to the Nyingmapa School Vajradhara is an activity emanation of Buddha Samantabhadra. The Sarma schools (Sakya, Kagyu, Gelug) hold Vajradhara as the secret form of Shakyamuni Buddha and the combined essence of all the buddhas of the ten directions and three periods of time gathered as one. It is from Vajradhara that such tutelary deities as Guhyasamaja, Shri Hevajra and Chakrasamvara arise.

Jeff Watt 3-2002

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