Tibet, Chakrasamvara – various forms (3)

17th century, Tibet, White Chakrasamvara (labelled Amitayus), gilt copper alloy with turquoise inlay, at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston (USA).

Rarely seen in sculpture, the white form of Chakrasamvara has one head with three eyes, two hands, two legs, and is always seated with the consort (on paintings they may be standing).  She holds two skull cups and he holds two long-life vases.

16th century, Southern Tibet or Nepal, Chakrasamvara, copper alloy, at the Art Institute of Chicago (USA).

This rare works depicts another form, with one head and four arms, standing with his consort, her legs wrapped around his waist. He holds a drum and a ritual staff in the upper hands, a vajra sceptre and a bell in the main ones across her back. Vajrayogini wears an intricate bone apron fastened with a belt with raining jewels and a garland of skulls. He wears a long garland of severed heads around his neck.

Undated, Tibet, Chakrasamvara, copper alloy, at the Tibet House museum in New Delhi, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

A very similar image, possibly from the same period and which may also have had a tall plinth below.

14th-15th century, Tibet, Chakrasamvara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

This Densatil-style sculpture depicts him with four heads and six hands. The upper ones hold the legs of an elephant (whose hide he usually wears across his back), the middle ones hold a bell and what looks like a noose (although one would expect a thunderbolt sceptre), the remaining hands hold a drum and a skull cup.

Undated (16th century circa), Tibet, Chakrasamvara, gilt metal, at a mountain sanctuary, published on Himalayan Art Rsources.

Most sculptures of Chakrasamvara depict him in his four-head and twelve-hand form, with Vajrayogini, his feet over two victims and holding a series of attributes discussed in previous posts. She may have one or both legs around his waist.

Tibet, Chakrasamvara – Sahaja Heruka (4)

Late 15th century, Tibet, Chakrasamvara, gilt copper with pigment and stone inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

This form of the deity has one head and two arms and stands with the consort, Vajrayogini, their legs in the same position (as in the Newar tradition).

His hair is tied in a chignon topped with a wish-granting jewel and he usually has a visvajra and a crescent moon in his headdress.

She holds a skull cup and a flaying knife, and wears a leopard skin loin cloth and a garland of skulls; he wears a tiger skin and a garland of freshly severed heads and holds a vajra sceptre and a bell across her back.

Undated, Tibet, Chakrasamvara, copper alloy with pigment and cold gold, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

On this more archaic work the low skull-tiara reveals a large visvajra in his headdress and a small crescent moon to his left-hand side.

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

His consort has both legs around his waist, a Tibetan variant attributed to the teachings of various Mahasiddhas such as Luipa and Maitripa (as explained by John C. Huntington and Dina Bangdel in The Circle of Bliss, Serindia Publications, Chicago, 2003).

Between the 15th and 17th century it is not uncommon for deities, whether seated or standing, to have billowing scarves forming an arch around them.

Undated (16th-17th century?), Tibet, Chakrasamvara, gilt metal and pigment, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

Tibet, Chakrasamvara – 12 hands (4)

16th century, Tibet, Chakrasamvara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

The deity and his consort stand on two victims, over a single lotus base with an unusual petal arrangement and geometrical incisions between two rows of beading.

He has four heads with three eyes and twelve arms, she has one head and two arms. They both wear skull crowns and turquoise-inlaid jewellery. He has a crescent moon and an effigy of buddha Akshobhya in his headdress and large earrings shaped like four-petal flowers recalling visvajras (double thunderbolt sceptres).

Same as before, photo by Christie’s.

They hold the usual attributes, skull cup and flaying knife for her, elephant hide, drum, axe, flaying knife, vajra sceptre, trident, for him in his right hands, elephant hide, staff, skull cup, noose, Brahma’s head on the other side.

16th century, Tibet, Chakrasamvara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Nagel auctions.

Vajrayogini usually stands on one leg and holds the other around his waist.

16th century, Western Tibet, Chakrasamvara, gilt copper alloy and pigments, at the Musée Guimet in Paris (France).

He normally has black or bluish hair but this one has red hair.

16th century, Tibet, Chakrasamvara, gilt copper alloy and pigments, private collection, source unquoted, published on 1bp.blogspot.com.

On this and the previous example the consort has both legs around his waist, a feature observed on 16th and 16th-17th century works (and associated with the Luipa tradition).

Same as before, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

Her hair is often painted with red pigment.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Chakrasamvara, wood and pigment, private collection, photo by Koller.

 

 

Tibet, Chakrasamvara – 12 arms (3)

15th century, Tibet, Chakrasamvara, gilt copper, is or was at the gTsug Lakhang, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

Standing on two victims, Chakrasamvara with four heads and twelve hands embraces his consort, Vajrayogini, who has one head and two hands.

Same, brass, at the Fondation Alain Bordier in Gruyère (Switzerland).

He holds a vajra sceptre and a bell in his main hands crossed over her back, she holds a vajra-handled flaying knife and a skull cup (but may hold two vajras instead), and wears a bone apron and a garland of skulls.

Same as before, photo by Anne Lozes.

He holds the hide of an elephant stretched across his back and wears a garland of 50 freshly severed human heads.

15th century, Tibet, Chakrasamvara, gilt copper alloy with stone inlay, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

His remaining right hands hold an axe, a drum, a flaying knife and a trident, the left hands hold a skull cup, a noose, a staff, Brahma’s head with four faces.

Same, photo by Koller.

The order may vary but the lower hands normally hold the trident and Brahma’s head.

15th century, Tibet, Chakrasamavara, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

He often has a crescent moon in his headdress, to his left-hand side.

Tibet, Chakrasamvara – Heruka

16th century, Tibet, Chakrasamvara, copper alloy, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

16th century, Tibet, Chakrasamvara, copper alloy, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

This is a rare sculpture of Chakrasamvara alone, in his heruka form (one head with three eyes, two hands), holding the standard thunderbolt sceptre and bell, hands crossed over his heart, his headdress adorned with a crescent moon. He is adorned with  wrathful ornaments and stands on two victims.

16th c., Tibet, Chakrasamvara Heruka, c.a., face

There is a ritual staff leaning against his left arm and traces of cold gold on his face.

Undated, 16th century?, Tibet, Chakrasamvara, copper alloy, at the Tibet House Museum in New Delhi.

Undated, 16th century?, Tibet, Chakrasamvara, copper alloy, at the Tibet House Museum in New Delhi.

Sometimes this form of Chakrasamvara is simply called Heruka.

Tibet, Chakrasamvara – 12 arms

15th century, Tibet, Chakrasamvara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

15th century, Tibet, Chakrasamvara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

Standing on Kalaratri and Bhairava, adorned with wrathful ornaments and a tiger skin dhoti, Chakrasamavara, with four heads, 12 arms, 2 legs, embraces Vajravarahi, who wears a bone apron and holds a skull cup and a flaying knife. His upper hands hold a (missing) elephant hide, his main hands hold a thunderbolt and a bell crossed over her back. The other left hands hold the standard ritual staff, skull cup, (missing) noose, Brahma’s four-faced head, in his remaining right hands he holds an axe, a trident, a drum, a flaying knife. His hair, dyed with lapis lazuli powder, is tied into a chignon adorned with a crescent moon and a visvajra (crossed thunderbolts), and topped with a wish-granting jewel.

Same as before, at the Minneapolis Museum of Art.

Same as before, at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (USA).

The ends of their scarves and belts end with a tripartite foliate design (raining jewels). They are adorned with a long garland of freshly severed heads and a slightly shorter one made of skulls.

Same as before, private collection, photo by Christie's

Same as before, private collection, photo by Christie’s

15th c., Tibet, Chakrasamvara, gilt c.a., 23,7 cm, elephant hide, tiger skin dhoti, visvajra+moon on chignon

His hair is gathered into a chignon adorned with a crescent moon, two crossed vajras (hidden by the front panel of the skull crown), and a flaming jewel at the top.

15th c., Tibet, Chakrasamvara, gilt c.a., 23,7 cm, elephant hide, tiger skin dhoti, left hand attributes

The paws of the tiger dangle between his legs. His main hands hold a bell and a thunderbolt crossed behind her back, the other left hands hold one leg of the elephant hide, a ritual staff, a skull cup full of blood, a (missing) noose, Brahma’s head with four faces.

15th c., Tibet, Chakrasamvara, gilt c.a., 23,7 cm, elephant hide, tiger skin dhoti, right hand attributes

On the other side, an elephant leg (stretched), a drum, an axe, a trident with a flag, a vajra-handled flaying knife.

 

Tibet, Chakrasamvara – various forms (2)

12th century, Tibet, Chakrasamvara with consort, brass with cold gold and pigments, private collection, photo by Christie's.

12th century, Tibet, Samvara with consort, brass with cold gold and pigments, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

This Pala-style work depicts Chakrasamvara with four heads, six arms and 4 legs, embracing his consort, Vajrayogini, who holds a skull cup and a flaying knife in her hands and has one leg around his waist. They stand on two victims over a double-lotus base.

12th c., Tibet, Cakrasamvara+yogini, c.a., right hands

He is adorned with snakes, a garland of freshly severed heads, some earrings and a crown, his flaming hair is decorated with small buddha figures. His main hands are cupped to hold Brahma’s head, his other two right hands hold a vajra, the left ones hold a trident and a flaming jewel.

14th century (or later), Tibet, Chakrasamavara, gilt copper alloy, private collection.

14th century (or later), Tibet, Chakrasamavara, gilt copper alloy, private collection (mandorla unrelated).

This four-head and four-arm version shows him with a vajra and ghanta in his main hands, a vajra stick and a drum.

14th century, Tibet, Chakrasamvara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Sotheby's.

14th century, Tibet, Chakrasamvara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

The standard 12-arm version depicts him embracing the consort and holding the thunderbolt and bell in his main hands, the upper hands hold the feet of an elephant (sometimes the whole hide stretched across his back), the remaining right hands hold a drum, a flaying knife, an axe and a trident, the other left hands hold a staff, a skull cup, a nose and Brahma’s head. They are adorned with bone jewellery and aprons, skull crowns, and stand on Kalaratri and Bhairava.

Same as before, gilt copper, same as before.

Same as before, gilt copper.

On most versions, his hair is pulled into a chignon topped with a jewel and a half vajra. His consort holds a skull cup and a flaying knife.