Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Vajradhara Buddha

རྡོ་རྗེ་འཆང། སངས་རྒྱས། 金刚持
(item no. 972)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Gelug
Size 71.12x45.72cm (28x18in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# P2000.14.1
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.

Sanskrit: Vajradhara Tibetan: Dor je chang

This painting is the first in a set of three depicting the the Eighty-four Great Mahasiddha according to the system of the Indian Buddhist teacher Vajrasana of the 11th century.

Vajradhara | Nagarjuna | Atisha

Twenty-five of the Eighty-four Mahasiddha The listing of the mahasiddha begins at the top right of the composition and moves clockwise around the painting. The non-sequential numbers below correspond to the sequential list of the siddhas according to the System of Vajrasana.

70. Chapari: dark in colour, flying in the air with his consort.
66. The Singer (glu dbyangs mkhan): flying in the air with the hand raised to the ear.
78. Asanga: dressed as a monk and with a yellow hat; Maitreya in the sky.
80. Flute Player (gling bu mkhan): with an attendant; Hevajra in the sky.
67. Bhagalana: a siddha seated in meditation posture, with attendant.
81. Saraha: a seated siddha with Vajravarahi above.
82. Sarasuka: seated embracing a red consort.
75. Kalaka: seated on an grey elephant; embracing a consort.
83. Kalalamge: seated on a tiger skin, Rakta Yamari in the sky.
85. Metogpa: dark in colour, seated, left arm in the air.
84. Bhayani: seated, wearing a white garment; Khasarpani in the sky.
76. Kubhucha: in a dancing posture; with Chakrasamvara in the sky.
79. Natapa: standing on one leg embracing a red consort.
12. Kukuripa: seated, wearing a red robe, with a black dog in the lap.
13. Buddhajnana: a monk wearing a red hat; Manjuvajra in the sky.
14. Kanhavajra (Krishnavajra): blowing a large black deer horn.
9. Busuku: as a monk, seated on a cloud above a throne; White Manjushri above.
8. Virupa: dark in colour and with a consort, the left arm raised to the sky.
7. Dombi Heruka: riding a tiger, holding a snake; with a consort.
5. Saraha: a seated siddha holding an arrow; with consort and arrow.
4. Padmavajra: seated and eating fruit; with a consort.
3. Luipa: seated, wearing few clothes; having a large red nimbus.
2. Aryadeva: a monk seated on a throne; a cat eating a green parrot in front.
11. Nalendrapa: flying in the sky, holding a sword in the right hand.
10. Vajra Ghanta: flying in the sky, embracing a red consort.

Jeff Watt 12-2005

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 9
Buddhist Deity: Vajradhara Main Page
Painting Set: Indian Adepts - Panchen Lama
Buddhist Deity: Vajradhara & Eighty-four Mahasiddhas
Buddhist Deity: Vajradhara, Solitary
Subject: Composition - Floating Figure