Dharmapala Thangka CentreSchool of Thangka Painting

3.54 Vajradhara [6]

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Adi-Buddha and Thunderbolt-bearer
Symbol: Vajra [thunderbolt], Ghanta [bell]
Mudra: vajra-hum-kara Color: dark blue
Shakti: Prajnaparamita

Vajradhara, the 'Indestructible', lord of all mysteries, master of all secrets, is an exoteric representation of Adi-Buddha, and in this form is believed to reign over the Easter Quarter.

according to the Mahayana school, it is Vajradhara to whom the suppressed and defeated evil spirits swear allegiance and renounce all resistance to the Buddhist faith.

Certain Lamaist sects identified Vajradhara with Vajrasattva, while others looked upon Vajrasattva as an active form of Vajradhara, who was too lost in divine quietude to occupy him directly with the affairs of sentient beings. Others again worshipped Vajradhara as a supreme deity distinct and apart from Vajrasattva. The two greatest sects of Mahayana school: the dKar-hGyu-pa and the dGe-lugs-pa acknowledged Vajradhara as supreme, and looked upon as Adi-Buddha.

He is always represented seated, with lotus posture and wears the Boddhisattva crown as well as dress and ornaments. His arms are crossed on his breast in the Vajrahumkara mudra holding the vajra and ghanta. He is in dark blue color.

Vajradhara is the primordial buddha, the dharmakaya buddha and is regarded as the highest deity in the Buddhist pantheon. Vajradhara, expresses the quintessence of buddhahood itself. Vajradhara represents the essence of the historical Buddha's realization of enlightenment.

Historically, Prince Siddhartha attained enlightenment under the bodhi tree in Bodhgaya over 2500 years ago and then manifested as the Buddha. According to Buddhist cosmology, he was the Fourth Historic Buddha of this fortunate eon. Prince Siddhartha's achievement of enlightenment, the realization, or wisdom of enlightenment itself, is called the dharmakaya, the body of truth. When he expresses that realization through subtle symbols, his realization is called the sambhogakaya, the body of enjoyment. When such realization manifested in more accessible or physical form for all sentient beings as the historical Shakyamuni Buddha, it is called the nirmanakaya, the body of manifestation.

The dharmakaya, synonymous with Vajradhara Buddha, is the source of all the manifestations of enlightenment. Vajradhara is central to the Kagyu lineage because Tilopa received the vajrayana teachings directly from Vajradhara, the dharmakaya buddha. Thus, the Kagyu lineage originated from the very nature of buddhahood.

Details of this painting

Left and right of Vajradhara we see the Red Manjushri and the blue Peaceful Vajrapani.

Above a Garuda is depicted in the rare form with its entire body. Garuda is a divine eagle-like sun bird and the king of birds.

Below the Garduda image we saw two Naga Goddesses right and left. Naga is the Sanskrit and Pali word for a deity or class of entity or being taking the form of a very great snake, specifically the king cobra, found in the Indian religions of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

The Buddhist Naga generally has the form of a great cobra, usually with a single head but sometimes with many. At least some of the Nagas are capable of using magic powers to transform themselves into a human semblance. In Buddhist painting, the Naga is sometimes portrayed as a human being with a snake or dragon extending over his head.

At both sides of Vajradhara are Makaras, Chinese Dragons, Snow Lions [white and blue] and two White Elephants.

Makara is a sea-creature in Hindu and Buddhist culture. It is generally depicted as half terrestrial animal in the frontal part [stag, deer, crocodile, or elephant] and half aquatic animal in the hind part [usually a fish or seal tail, though sometimes a peacock or even a floral tail is depicted.]

A Chinese dragon holds a vessel with lucky beads in the middle below Vajradhara.

Measurements: 14.2 x 23.2" | 36 x 59 cm
Price: on request
Shipment: Parcel Service from Germany or Nepal
Color: Gold Background
Material: Natural Stone Colors
High resolution: Display [6.7 MB, 3390 x 5587 px.]