Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Vajradaka (Buddhist Deity)

རྡོ་རྗེ་མཁའ་འགྲོ། 金剛空行
(item no. 88765)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Buddhist
Size 17.78cm (7in) high
Material Metal, Mercuric Gild
Collection San Diego Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc. #1958:14, Gift of Mr. Ivan B. Hart
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Vajradaka (Tibetan: dor je kan dro). A deity of purification from the Chakrasamvara Cycle of Tantras.

"...Vajradaka with a body blue-black in colour, one face. With the two hands at the heart performing the King of Desire mudra, the right holds a vajra and left a bell. Possessing three eyes, yellow hair flowing upward, a radiant face and adorned with bones, jewels and the eight great nagas. Wearing a lower garment of tiger skin, with the left leg extended,..." (Chogyal Pagpa, 1235-1280).

This is a ritual piece used while performing one of several specific meditations involving purification. At a certain point in the meditation black sesame seeds are inserted into the mouth of the Vajradaka sculpture which then fall through the body and onto an incense pot filled with burning embers or coals. The seeds are burnt and the smoke rises upwards and dissipates just as the defilements or sins of the practitioner are destoyed through the power of the ritual.

Jeff Watt 8-2001

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Collection of San Diego Museum of Art
Buddhist Deity: Vajradaka Main Page