Sculptures of Vajrayogini, especially in her Vajravarahi form, often depict her with her right knee – or both knees – above or supported by a lotus or lotuses sprouting from the pedestal. Apart from its symbolic meaning, the vegetation adds strength to the sculpture and varies in shape and sizes.
15th-16th century, Tibet, Vajrayogini, bronze, private collection, photo by Dreweatts.
It may be a single bud on a stem without foliage.
A single bud with many leaves.
Several buds on a single thick stem with leaves at the bottom.
Two buds on separate stems without leaves.
Two buds on separate stems with tiny leaves at the bottom.
13th century, Tibet?, Vajravarahi, copper alloy with turquoise and silver inlay, private collection, photo by Heritage auctions.Two buds on separate stems with leaves, under her left knee as she raises her left leg in the air.
Foliage, also on the left side in this case.
Almost a stump under knee, the leg strangely bent at a right angle.
Discreet foliage under her right knee, the leg bent at a sharp angle.
15th century, Central Tibet, Vajravarahi, copper alloy and pigments, at the Art Institute of Chicago (USA).Abundant foliage and a bud at the top.
An open flower and two different size buds on separate stems under her right knee.
An open flower and multiple buds under her left knee.
Plain stems covered by the jewelled pendants coming out of her garland of severed heads.
On this very ornate base there are night lotuses (utpala) under her right knee and day lotuses on the other side.
Just foliage on each side.
An imprecise shape acting more as a support for the right leg.
A bud on a tall stem without leaves, on each side.
An extremely rare work showing Vajravarahi with a peacock under her right knee, the feathers of its tail imitating lotus buds.
Equally rare is this four-arm form, with young naga kings under her knees.
13th-14th century, Tibet, Vasya Vajravarahi, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Koller.Lotus buds in groups of two going from the knee downwards, as a prolongation of her bone apron pendants.
A third device at the back gives extra support to the frail figure.
A day lotus on each side, flowering at knee level.
14th century, Tibet, Vajrayogini, gilt metal, at the Capital Museum in Beijing, item 59822 on Himalayan Art Resources.
When Densatil or Densatil-style images have this feature, it is a scrolling foliage and bud design.
17th century, tibet, Vajrayogini (labelled ‘Sarvabuddha dakini’), copper alloy, brass pedestal, at the British Museum in London (UK).A blue lotus under her right knee and a bud on the other side.