Tibet, various bodhisattvas

Undated, Tibet or Nepal, gilt copper alloy, private collection on Himalayan Art Resources.

Undated, Tibet or Nepal, gilt copper, private collection on Himalayan Art Resources.

Sarvanivarana Vishkhambhin, also referred to as Nivarana Vishkhambhin, has a peaceful and a wrathful form.

Same as before, copper alloy with cold gold, same as before.

Same as before (17th century cir?), copper alloy with cold gold and pigments, same as before.

When wrathful, he holds a bell at head level in his right hand and leans on his left hand.

18th century, Tibet, Samantabhadra, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Sotheby's.

18th century, Tibet, Samantabhadra, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

This bodhisattva (not to be confused with the primordial buddha of the same name who only appears on paintings) normally rides a six-tusked white elephant and holds the stems of two blue lotuses. He is usually depicted on paintings and in a triad, with buddha Shakyamuni and bodhisattva Manjushri.

11th century, Tibet, Samantabhadra, copper or copper alloy with cold gold and pigments, in Tibet.

11th century, Tibet, Samantabhadra, copper alloy with cold gold and pigments, in Tibet.

14th century, Central Tibet, Gandhahastin, gilt copper alloy with stone inlay, Freer and Sackler Gallery (USA).

14th century, Central Tibet, Gandhahastin, gilt copper alloy with stone inlay, Freer and Sackler Gallery (USA).

Made by a Newar artist, this sculpture is thought to depict Gandhahastin, of Indian origin and worshipped in Eastern Asia mainly. He holds his right hand in the varada mudra (gesture of generosity) and has the long stem of a plant in his left hand.

14th century, Tibet, Vajravidarana, green form, stone, photo by Hollywood Galleries, published on asianart.com

14th century, Tibet, Vajravidarana, green form, stone, photo by Hollywood Galleries, published on asianart.com

Vajravidarana is a meditational deity with a bodhisattva appearance very similar to Vajrasattva but he holds a visvajra (double thunderbolt) in his right hand.

Undated, Tibet, gilt copper alloy, at the American Museum of National History (USA).

Undated, Tibet, Vajravidarana, gilt copper alloy, at the American Museum of Natural History (USA).

There is a white peaceful form (as below), a green semi-peaceful form (as above) and a blue wrathful form.

Undated, Tibet, Vajravidarana, copper alloy with traces of gilding, private collection.

Undated, Tibet, Vajravidarana, copper alloy with traces of gilding, private collection.

2 thoughts on “Tibet, various bodhisattvas

  1. and just when I thought I was getting them all straight… Thank you for your continuing blog featuring these shrines, though now I think I’m more confused that ever. So what is the Thai “Walking Buddha”? Isn’t that just a Tara or perhaps a Gandhahastin?

    • Thank you for your message, it is good to know that the blog is useful to you even though you are confused – and who wouldn’t be with such a rich pantheon whose iconography varies from one country to the other, and so many different Buddhist schools in Tibet alone. Gandhahastin is definitely a bodhisattva, not a buddha. The Thai walking buddha is the historical buddha,Siddharta Gautama, known as Shakyamuni in the art world.

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