Tibet, wrathful Vajrapani (12)

Tibet, Vajrapani, 1600-1700, copper alloy with cold gold and pigments, at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (USA).

Wrathful Vajrapani (‘the thunderbolt bearer’) brandishes a thunderbolt sceptre and holds bell upside-down, clad in a tiger skin loin cloth. both feet on twisted snakes (nagas), a garuda in his headdress and two garuda necklaces around his neck.

18th century, Tibet, Vajrapani, gilt copper alloy with pigment and stone inlay, at the museum of Asian Art in Berlin (Germany).

This other fierce Vajrapani wears a human hide over his back, a garland of freshly severed human heads around his neck, a five-skull crown over his orange flaming hair, snakes and beaded jewellery and the usual tiger skin loin cloth. The artist used lapis lazuli for the eyes, urna and cross-belt.

Undated (16th century circa?), Tibet, Vajrapani, gilt metal, at the Beijing Museum (China).

When not holding a bell, his left hand does a symbolic gesture to keep evil spirits away.

Undated (16th century or earlier), Tibet, Mahacakra Vajrapani, gilt metal with stone and coral inlay, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

When depicted alone this form of wrathful Vajrapani has three heads with three eyes, 2 legs and 4 to 6 hands. There is a long snake in his mouth and main hands and he wears a princely crown on his main head (as opposed to a skull crown). The above has an effigy of a buddha in his headdress, a garland of fifty severed heads around his neck, a skull tiara on his side heads, a vajra in his top right hand.






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