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Paintings > Thangka > Vajrabhairava Mandala
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Vajrabhairava Mandala

Vajrabhairava Mandala

Vajrabhairava Mandala

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Tibetan Thangka Painting

1.8 ft x 2.4 ft
Item Code:
TH63
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$265.00   Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
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Vajrabhairava Mandala

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Viewed 2827 times since 2nd Oct, 2008
This mandala belongs to the nine-headed deity Vajrabhairava, also known as Yamantaka. Wrathful deities such as Yamantaka suggest the mighty struggle involved in overcoming one's alienation. They embody all the inner afflictions which darken our thoughts, our words, and our deeds and which prohibit attainment of the Buddhist goal of full enlightenment. Traditionally, wrathful deities are understood to be aspects of benevolent principles, fearful only to those who perceive them as alien forces. When recognized as aspects of one's self and tamed by spiritual practice, they assume a purely benevolent guise.

Vajrabhairava is shown here in union with his consort Vajravetali. Sexual imagery suggests the integrative process which lies at the heart of the mandala. Male and female elements are nothing but symbols of the countless pairs of opposites (e.g. love and hate; good and evil etc.) which one experiences in mundane existence. The initiate seeks to curtail his or her alienation, by accepting and enjoying all things as a seamless, interconnected field of experience. Sexual imagery can also be understood as a metaphor for enlightenment, with its qualities of satisfaction, bliss, unity and completion.

Encircling the mandala can be seen various deities. Just above the mandala at the left is depicted the Transcendent Buddha Amitabha in the form of Yamantaka, at the upper right corner is Amoghasiddhi as Yamantaka. Similarly at bottom left is Ratnasambhava, and bottom right is Akshobhya.

Above the mandala in the center is Yama, the God of Death.

Just below the mandala in the center are two skeletal figures known as Citipati. They are considered to be the masters of the cemetery. One is male and the other is female. They are visible reminders of the impermanence of everything worldly.

This description by Nitin Kumar.

References:

Lipton, Barbara, and Ragnubs, Nima Dorjee. Treasures of Tibetan Art: Collection of the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Rhie, Marylin M. & Thurman, Robert A.F. Wisdom and Compassion: The Sacred Art of Tibet. London: Thames and Hudson, 1996.

Of Related Interest:

Book: Sacred Mandala of Buddhism

Tibetan Thangka Painting: Vishwavajra Mandala

Sterling Silver Pendant: Mandala Box Pendant with Filigree

Article: The Buddhist Mandala - Sacred Geometry and Art

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