Tibet, wrathful Vajrapani (7)

Undated, Tibet, Vajrapani, Mahacakra, copper alloy, private collection, published on  Himalayan Art Resources.

Undated, Tibet, Vajrapani,  copper alloy, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

This very old sculpture depicts Vajrapani in his Mahacakra form, with 3 heads and six hands, standing on Brahma and Shiva. There is a long snake in his mouth and between two of his hands, a vajra and a ghanta in his upper hands, the main ones are held at heart level and hold an object. He is adorned with  low tiaras and simple jewellery. This form of Vajrapani is a meditational deity. He doesn’t wear a skull crown or a garland of severed heads.

15th century, Tibet, Vajrapani, copper alloy, private collection.

15th century, Tibet, Vajrapani, copper alloy, private collection.

This Vajrapani stands on entwined snakes held by a Garuda below him. He wears a tiger skin dhoti and is adorned with jewellery and snakes. Unlike most other examples, he holds the vajra in his left hand and does the kartari mudra with the other.

15th century, Tibet, Vajrapani, copper alloy, at the Rubin Museum of Art (USA).

15th century, Tibet, Vajrapani, copper alloy, at the Rubin Museum of Art (USA).

Although he has lost his attribute, the position of his right hand indicates that it held a vajra, and his left hand does the tarjani mudra, which identifies him as Vajrapani, clad in a leopard skin dhoti and adorned with snakes.

15th c., Tibet, Vajrapani, bronze+ pig., detail

He wears a very ornate five-skull crown and a v-shaped necklace with an incised motif. The smoothness of his body contours and the square face with generous facial features are typical of Tibetan works.

Same as before, gilt copper alloy with stones, at the Pacific Asia Museum (USA).

Same as before, gilt copper alloy with stones, at the Pacific Asia Museum (USA).

This richly gilt sculpture has him standing over a single-lotus base, wielding his vajra and doing the tarjani mudra as above, adorned with a foliate crown decorated with bows, a thin scarf with raining jewels at each extremity, a snake across his chest as a sacred cord, and some stone-inlaid jewellery.

 

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