Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Medicine Buddha - Retinue Figure

སངས་རྒྱས་སྨན་ལྷ། 药师佛
(item no. 86936)
Origin Location China
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Buddhist
Size 36.83x16.51cm (14.50x6.50in)
Material Ground: Textile Image, Embroidery
Collection The Brooklyn Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc. #BMA 15.53
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Vayu (Tibetan: Lunglha): retinue deity of the Medicine Buddha Mandala of Fifty-one Deities. This textile belongs to a larger set depicting all fifty-one deities. (See Collection of All Tantras vol.1, page 117).

Vayu has one face and two hands holding a long staff extending up over the right shoulder; seated on a deer lying atop a lotus blossom seat. Clouds of various colours and an ornate canopy hover in the sky above. Five decorative Sanskrit mantra syllables rest on lotus cushions below.

32 (7). North-west, Vayu Deva, smoky-coloured, holding a banner, riding a deer.

The five syllable mantra written in lantsa script in the lower embroidered composition appears to be written clockwise, starting at the top, and reads 'om spha ra na kham.' The Sanskrit syllable 'kham' is special for the Buddha of the northern quarter of a mandala - Amoghasiddhi.

Jeff Watt 3-2002 [updated 11-2008]

Reverse of Painting
Special Features: (Ranjana script (Ornamental Sanskrit))

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Subject: Strings of Miniature Paintings (Banners)
Textile: Embroidered Artwork Main Page
Collection of Brooklyn Museum of Art
Textile Set: Embroidered Mounts
Buddhist Deity: Medicine Buddha (retinue figures)
Collection of Brooklyn Museum of Art (Deities)