Guhjasamaya`s name means "Secret Union" or "Assembly of the Secret Ones [Tib. Sangwa-dupa]. Guhjasamaya is also know as "King of Tantras".
In Tibet, he is particularly favored by the Geluk Order, most likely for the antiquity of his texts. Translated in the 8th century, the Guhjasamaya Tantra was one of te first Sanskrit works to be translated into Tibetan. One tradition has it that Shakyamuni Buddha himself proclaimed the tantra the morning after his enlightenment. Other traditions claimed tat Maitreya taught the tantra in the Tushita Heaven, and that the Indian scholar Asanga brought it to the human world in the 4th century. Like other deities of the Unexcelled Yoga tantra tradition, Guhjasamaya is associated with the Buddha Akshobhya. Many texts, including the Guhjasamaya Tantra itself, simply call him Akshobhya or Akshobhyavajara.
Guhjasamayas is dark blue in color. He has three faces: the central one is blue and fierce, the right face is peaceful white; and the left one is red. He is considered Lord of the Diamond Body, Speech, and Mid of All the Thatagatas. He gently holds his consort, Sparshavajra, in a intimate embrace. The goddess has six hands and three faces, and is "like her consort," in the words of an early ritual.
Sparshvajra gazes upward in rapture, meeting Guhjasamaya´s downward glance. The goddess protects an energy and ferocity that contrasts with the serene countenance of her mate.
Being "of the same nature," the divine pair possess similar hand implements. The central pair of hands hold, right and left, a vajra scepter and a bell, the upper pair, a wheel and a blazing jewel; the lower pair, a lotus and a sword. The vajra scepter and the bell symbolize, among other things, the vajra Buddha clan of Akshobhya. The wheel symbolizes the mirror wisdom clan of Vairochana, the lotus the discriminating wisdom clan of Amitabha, the jewel the equality wisdom clan of Ratnasambhava, and the sowrd the all- accomplishing wisdom clan of Amogasiddhi. Thus Guhjasamaya Budha symbolically represents the union of all the Buddha clans.
Tradition holds that Guhjasamaya's tantra is the oldest Buddhist tantra, taught by the Buddha Shakyamuni on the morn-ing after his enlightenment. The name "Secret Assembly" indicates that all the enlightened ones are embodied in him. This is indicated in his iconography by the attributes in his six hands and the identical ones held by his consort. These are the attributes of the Five Buddhas, plus the Ghanta [bell].
Because Guhjasamaya is part of the vajra family of the Buddha Akshobhya, he holds the male vajra, Akshobhya's main attribute, in one of his main hands and the female bell of wisdom in the other. Unlike Guhjasamaya himself, who has a very peaceful countenance, his consort Sparshavajra has an energetic ferocity and intensity.
Their union represents the coming together of compassion, the female attribute, and wisdom the male attribut - the perfect union of wisdom and compassion that characterizes the enlightened state. The Guhjasamaya Tantra is the "king of Tantras," the highest, most esoteric, and most complex of all Buddhist teachings. Because tradition holds that it was the first Tantra, it is also believed to be the prototype for all other Tantras.
|17.7 x 27.2" | 45 x 69 cm
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