This exquisitely modeled sculpture depicts the Buddhist deity Vajrasattva. Certain Lamaist sects identify Vajrasattva with Vajradhara who is considered to be the esoteric manifestation of Adi (primordial) Buddha. However, he is generally considered as the sixth Dhyani Buddha and the priest of the five Dhyani Buddhas.
Vajrasattva has been widely represented in India and other Buddhist countries during the period of later Buddhism. A Buddhist text Advayavajra-sanghra contains information pertaining to Vajrasattva. His cult is particularly popular in Mahayanic countries.
In the present form he is shown seated in padmasana on a double lotus
throne. He has two hands: right hand holds a five-pronged vajra, while the
left hand placed on the thigh is holding a vajra-ghanta (bell). These two
priestly symbols emphasise perhaps his position as the priest of the Dhyani
His body is slim and slender. The eyes are half-closed and are looking
inwards in meditation. There is a sacred mark between the eyebrows. His neck
has three folds and lips are upturned. He is wearing a shoulder mantle,
flowing scarf, and a skirt as the lower garment. The borders of the garment
are incised with decorative designs. He is bedecked in ornaments which
include a finely executed five-pronged crown, necklaces, armlets, bracelets
Alice Getty, The Gods of Northern Buddhism, Tokyo, Japan, 1962.
P. Pal, Art of the Himalayas: Treasures from Nepal and Tibet, New York.
S. K. Saraswati, Tantrayana Art: An Album, Calcutta, 1977.
This description by Dr. Shailendra Kumar Verma, Ph.D. His doctorate thesis
being on the "Emergence and Evolution of the Buddha Image (from its
inception to 8th century A.D)."
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