Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Achala (Kneeling) Page

Achala Iconography

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Description (below)
- Masterworks: Painting, Sculpture
- Outline Page
- Chanda Maharoshana with Consort
- Blue Achala (below)
- White Achala
- Source Texts
- Confusions
- Others...

Video: Achala: The Unmovable One

Achala (English: the Immovable One). There are two forms of Achala in a kneeling posture, blue and white, and several forms of Achala in a standing posture. Of the two kneeling forms the Nila Achala (blue) is more common and appears regularly in painting and sculpture. The Nila Achala with a consort is a meditational deity of the 4th classification of tantra. The solitary Nila is for the removal of obstacles and has especially become associated with the meditational deity Manjushri.

Although wrathful in appearance, the Sita Achala (white), the second of the two forms is a wisdom and intelligence producing meditational deity similar to Manjushri, Sarasvati, Prajnaparamita, White Vajravarahi and Maitreya.

"...Lord Acala. The body is blue in colour, one face, two hands, the right brandishing to the sky a sword fiercely flaming with a mass of wisdom fire and the left at the heart, in a wrathful gesture, holding a vajra lasso wound [around the index finger] with the ends hovering above the shoulder. With bared fangs, biting down on the lower lip, possessing three eyes, the right gazes upward completely eliminating heavenly daemons. The left gazes down, destroying nagas, spirits of disease and earth lords. The middle gazes forward completely eliminating all types of obstacles. Wearing a white snake as a necklace, gathering the power of nagas, spirits of disease and earth lords; with black hair, tied in a black tuft on the crown of the head; with jewel ornaments and various silks as a lower garment. The heel of the right foot and the left knee are pressing down on the seat in a manner of rising, dwelling in the center of a flaming mass of pristine awareness fire." (Written by Ngorchen Konchog Lhundrub (1497-1557). sGrub Thabs Kun bTus, vol.8, fol.595-597).

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Jeff Watt [updated 8-2017, 8-2021]