Tibet, Manjushri – Namasangiti (3)

Late 16th century, Tibet, Manjuvajra Manjushri, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

There are various forms of Manjushri derived from the namasangiti tantra. Manjuvajra usually has three heads and six hands and may be depicted alone or with his consort. Traditionally, he holds a bow and an arrow, a sword and a blue lotus, his main hands embrace the consort and may hold a bell and a thunderbolt sceptre (as above).

The hair is pulled into a joint chignon topped with a half-vajra finial, partly hidden by the (broken) blade of his sword.

16th century, Tibet, Namasangiti Manjushri, gilt copper, is or was at the gTsug Lakhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

Very rare in sculpture, this form of Manjushri with six heads and two hands is labelled Samkshipta Guhyaka, Namasangiti on the forever useful Himalayan Art Resources website. The hands are held in the gesture of meditation while holding the stem of lotuses that support the Prajnaparamita sutra.

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