Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Mandala of Vasudhara (Buddhist Deity) - (1 face, 6 hands)

ནོར་རྒྱུན་མ། ནང་ལྷ། 财源天母(佛教本尊)
(item no. 89003)
Origin Location Nepal
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Buddhist
Size 88x73cm (34.65x28.74in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Peaceful

Gender: Female

Interpretation / Description

Vasudhara Mandala along with the Five Symbolic Buddhas and two bodhisattva figures in the upper register and donor figures in the lower register. The painting is dated by inscription to the Nepal Samvat 897 (1777).

"Vasudhara, yellow, with one face and six hands; in a manner happily seated at play. The first right hand is in a gesture of supreme generosity, the second 'raining jewels,' the third with the hand in a gesture accompanying singing. The first left holds an abundant vase, the second a sheaf of grain, the third [holds] the Prajnaparamita text; adorned with all jewel ornaments." (This description of Vasudhara arises from the Togpa Chungwa and the Vajravali text of the Indian scholar Abhayakaragupta).

In the top register are the Five Symbolic Buddhas: white Vairochana, blue Akshobhya, red Amitabha, yellow Ratnasambhava and green Amoghasiddhi. A bodhisattva figure sits at the top right and left of the register.

At the outer four corners of the mandala are four seated multi-armed deities each flanked by two of the Eight Auspicious Symbols. It is not clear who these deities are meant to represent. They have some characteristics of the Pancharaksha group of five goddesses, however there are only four and many of their attributes and characteristics don't immediately follow known iconographic systems for the Pancharaksha practiced in the Kathmandu Valley. It is possible that they represent four different forms of Manjushri.

The bottom register contains a statement of dedication which includes a date and the name of the family that commissioned the painting. In the center of the register is a decorated stupa surrounded by offerings and ritual materials. To the left side is a Vajracharya priest holding a vajra and bell performing a ritual in front of a fire pit (homapuja)

Jeff Watt 7-2014

Secondary Images
Related Items
Publication: Kathmandu Valley Painting

Thematic Sets
Collection: Bonhams (Painting & Sculpture. Fall, 2014)
Nepal: Paintings
Mandalas: Female Deities
Subject: Wealth Deities Main Page
Buddhist Deity: Vasudhara Main Page
Buddhist Deity: Vasudhara, Six Hands
Buddhist Deity: Vasudhara (Mandala)
Region: Nepal Main Page
Buddhist Deity: Vasudhara (19 Deities)