Mongolia, Vajravarahi and Chakrasamvara

18th century, Mongolia, Vajravarahi, gilt copper alloy with stone inlay and pigments, private collection.

18th century, Mongolia, Vajravarahi, gilt copper alloy with stone inlay and pigments, private collection.

This form of Vajrayogini has the appearance of a dakini, her legs in a dancing posture, holding a sword or a flaying knife (missing here) in her right hand and a skull cup in the other. There should be a sow’s head sticking out of her own. She has a khatvanga resting on her left arm and is adorned with a garland of freshly severed human heads, a five-skull crown, Chinese-style jewellery and celestial scarf. There is a small buddha at the top of her orange flaming hair. She stands on a human corpse. Vajravarahi is the consort of Chakrasamvara.

18th century, Mongolia, Chakrasamvara, gilt copper alloy and pigments, private collection.

18th century, Mongolia, Chakrasamvara, gilt copper alloy and pigments, private collection.

Chakrasamvara is rarely represented on his own. This form has four heads, 2 legs, 12 arms. The hands crossed over his heart hold a thunderbolt and a bell (vajra and ghanta). His other hands hold the ends of an elephant hide behind his head, a flaying knife and a skull cup, an axe and a folded lasso, a trident and a staff (khatvanga), drums and severed heads. He is adorned with a skull crown, elaborate Chinese-style jewellery inlaid with turquoise, two animal skins around his waist, a belt with raining-jewel pendants. Each face has a third eye and bared fangs, the hair is gathered into a chignon topped with a gold finial. He stands on two victims (missing here).

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