Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Ushnishavijaya Nine Deity

Ushnishavijaya Iconography

Key Figures:
- Ushnishavijaya (center)
- Avalokiteshvara (white)
- Vajrapani (blue)
- Achala
- Takkiraja
- Niladanda
- Mahabala
- Devaputra (1)
- Devaputra (2)

Video: Ushnishavijaya Nine Deity Configuration

"...Ushnishavijaya, the colour of an autumn moon, with three faces, white, yellow and blue and eight hands. Each face has three very large eyes. The first right hand holds a vishvavajra, second a white lotus with Amitabha [Buddha] residing, third an arrow and the fourth in [the gesture of] supreme generosity. The first left holds a vajra lasso, second a bow, third [in the gesture of] bestowing protection and fourth in [the gesture of] meditative equipoise holding an auspicious nectar vase; complete with silks and jewel ornaments, seated in [vajra] posture."

"On the right, above a moon is Avalokiteshvara with a body white in colour, the left hand holds a lotus. On the left, above a sun is Vajrapani, blue, the left hand holds an utpala with vajra. Both, for the right wave fly whisks, stand in a peaceful manner, adorned with silks and jewels."

"To the east is blue Achala brandishing a sword, south blue Takkiraja with a hook, west blue Niladanda with a stick and north, blue Mahabala with a trident. Also, with the left all perform the wrathful gesture at the heart, wearing jewel and snake ornaments, a lower garment of tiger skin, on a lotus and sun seat with the left [leg] extended in a wrathful manner. Above the main [deity] in the two directions are Devaputras holding nectar vases for cleansing the body." (Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, 1820-1892).

The standing Vajrapani included in the Nine Deity Ushnishavijaya iconography holds a fly-whisk in the right hand and a vajra in the left. Alternately the left hand can hold the stem of an utpala flower supporting a vajra scepter. It is however very rare to have sculptural depictions of the Nine Deity Ushnishavijaya.

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Jeff Watt 1-2024