16th-17th century, Tibet, Vajrayogini, copper alloy with stones and traces of paint, private collection, photo on VAN HAM.
Vajrayogini, in a rare form called vajrapravana on paintings (with a green body), standing on both feet and facing the viewer, brandishing a flaying knife in her right hand and holding a skull cup before her heart and a ritual staff in the crook of her left arm. She is adorned with a five-skull crown, a garland of severed head, bone jewellery, a half-vajra finial, and wears an animal skin around her waist.
Undated, Tibet, Vajrayogini, gilt bronze (copper alloy), at the American Museum of Natural History in New York (USA).
Another rare image of Vajrayogini, probably in her Maitri Kachod form, standing on both feet and facing the viewer, holding a vajra sceptre pointing to her right foot and a skull cup before her heart, adorned with bone ornaments and a garland of severed heads, her mouth open to reveal her bared fangs. This form may have loose black hair; the above has an Indian-style braided chignon topped with a finial just like the figure we saw from the Royal Ontario museum.
Undated, Tibet, Naro Mkha’Spyod Ma (Naro Khachoma), gilt bronze, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York (USA).
Vajrayogini in her Sarvabuddha Dakini aspect never looks at the viewer. Her head is turned towards the skull cup she holds in her left hand to drink from it. She always holds her flaying knife downwards, towards her right foot. In Tibet she is known as Naro Khachoma and other similar names.
17th-18th century, Tibet, Vajrayogini, gilt copper alloy with polychromy, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (USA).
She has the aspect of a young girl and may stand on one or both feet, usually on one or two victims.
17th-18th century, Tibet, Vajravarahi (labelled ‘Dakini’), gilt copper (or copper alloy), private collection?, photo on GG-ART
The Vajravarahi form is identified by the sow’s head coming out of her right temple. Always facing the viewer, she stands in a dancing posture, her right leg in the air, the other on Hindu goddess Kalaratri. She wears a skull crown and a garland of severed heads, brandishes a flaying knife above her head and holds a skull cup before her heart. A ritual staff (missing here) is usually propped against her left arm.
Circa 15th century, Tibet, Vajrayogini, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by John Siudmak.
The Vajradakini form has the same appearance as Vajravarahi but without the sow’s head.