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Sculptures > Nepalese > Yama - the God of Death
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Yama - the God of Death

Yama - the God of Death

Yama - the God of Death

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Copper Statue Gilded with 24 Karat Gold

8.0" X 4.5" X 2.5"
1.6 Kg
Item Code:
EO58
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$355.00
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Yama - the God of Death

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Viewed 23184 times since 2nd Oct, 2008
According to the popular version of the mythological origins of Yama (the god of death), a holy man was once told that if he spent fifty years living in deep meditation in a cave, he would reach enlightenment. On the night of the twenty-ninth day of the eleventh month of the forty-ninth year, two robbers entered his cave with a stolen bull whose head they proceeded to cut off. When they realized that the hermit had witnessed their act, they decided to kill him. He begged them to spare his life, explaining that in a few minutes he would reach enlightenment and that all his efforts would be lost if they killed him before the expiration of the fifty years. The thieves ignored his request and cut off his head. Immediately, he assumed the ferocious form of Yama and put the bull's head on his own headless body. He then killed the two robbers and drank their blood from cups made from their skulls. In his fury, he threatened to destroy the entire population of Tibet. The Tibetan people appealed to the deity Manjushri (the Bodhisattva of wisdom), to protect them from Yama. Manjushri then had to assume the form of Yamantaka, defeating Yama, and turning him into a protector of Buddhism, in order to save the people.

With a dark body lunging wildly across the back of his bull mount, wearing a profusion of macabre jewelry, Yama here has a buffalo's head and waves a skull-headed club. He glares with puffed-up snouts straight at the viewer.

The background aureole coils are sculpted with much grace and expression of movement. The flames curl to one side and leap out at the other. This transverse motion enhances the dynamic body posture of the deity, lending to it vitality and vigor.


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