Code: ABS 127
Style: Late Pala Style
Date: 1200 - 1300
Dimensions in cm WxHxD: 5.1 x 9.4 x 4.3
The garment is decorated with dotted textile pattern.
The face has traces of painted cold gold and the hair has remains of a red pigment.
The bottom of the pedestal is not sealed.
The fearful three-eyed form of Acala (Tib. Mi gyo ba), resting on his left knee and right foot, is supported by a circular double lotus pedestal with an upper beaded border. Acala holds in the right uplifted hand his principal attribute the sword (khadga) as symbol of "cutting throug ignorance". He holds with the left hand, displayed in the gesture of exorcism (karana mudra) with the index finger erect, the noose (pasa), an attribute of mainly wrathful deities to catch the enemies of Buddhism. Acala is dressed with a cloth tied around the waist. He is decorated with jewelled ornaments, namely a pair of circular earrings, a beaded necklace, and ornaments at the upper arms, wrists and ankles.
Also known as Acalanatha, Aryacalanatha, Acala-vidya-raja and Candamaharosana. In Vajrayana Buddhism, Acala (alternatively, Achala or Acala) is the best known of the Five Wisdom Kings of the Womb Realm. Acala means "The Immovable One" in Sanskrit. Acala is also the name of the eighth of the ten stages of the path to buddhahood.
Acala is the destroyer of delusion and the protector of Buddhism. His immovability refers to his ability to remain unmoved by carnal temptations. Despite his fearsome appearance, his role is to aid all beings by showing them the teachings of the Buddha, leading them into self-control.
He is seen as a protector and aide in attaining goals. Temples dedicated to Acala perform a periodic fire ritual in devotion to him.
The buddha Akshobhya, whose name also means “the immovable one”, is sometimes merged with Acala. However, Acala is not a buddha, but one of the Five Wisdom Kings of the Womb Realm in Vajrayana as found in the Indo-Tibetan tradition, as well as the Japanese Shingon sect of Buddhism. As 'Fudo myo-o', Acala is considered one of the Thirteen Buddhas in Japan
Acala is typically depicted with a sword for subduing demons in his right hand and a rope for catching and binding them in his left hand. He has a fearsome blue visage and is surrounded by flames, representing the purification of the mind. He is often depicted seated or standing on a rock to show his immovability. His hair commonly has seven knots and is draped on his left side, a servant hairstyle in Buddhist iconography. He is frequently depicted with two protruding fangs. One tooth points down, representing his compassion to the world, and one tooth points up, representing his passion for truth.
Béguin, Gilles, 2013. Art sacré du Tibet – Collection Alain Bordier, [catalogue of the exhibition held at the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Ives Saint Laurent; 14 mars au 21 juillet 2013]. Paris: Fondation Pierre Bergé – Ives Saint Laurent. Editions Findakli.
Chandra, Lokesh, 1991. Buddhist Iconography of Tibet (CBIT). New Delhi: International Academy of Indian Culture & Aditya Prakashan. Nos. 13, 187, 202, 322, 682-687, 775, 934-935, 2377 (174), 2422 (219) - References to the iconography of Acala
Cornu, Philippe , 2001. Dictionnaire Encyclopédique du Bouddhisme. Seuil. Pp. 33-34
de Mallmann, Marie-Thérèse, 1963. “Notes d’iconographie tântrique: III. A propos du Fudô bleu [Acala]”, Arts Asiatiques. Tome IX, Fasc. 1–2. EFEO, Musée Guimet. Pp. 73-79, fig 1 - References to the iconography of Acala
de Mallmann, Marie-Thérèse, 1964. Étude iconographique sur Manjusri. Paris: École Française d’Extrème-Orient. Pp. 16, 30, 32, 70-71, 111-112, 128-32 - References to the iconography of Acala
de Mallmann, Marie-Thérèse, 1975. Introduction à l'iconographie du tântrisme bouddhique. Paris: Adrien Mainsonneuve (Jean Maisonneuve successeur (1970). Pp. 83-85 - References to the iconography of Acala
Frédéric, Louis, 1992. Les Dieux du Bouddhisme. Guide iconographique . Paris: Flammarion. P. 201 sq. - Sur l'iconographie d'Acala
Heller, Amy, 1999. Tibetan Art Tracing the Development of Spiritual Ideals and Art in Tibet 600-2000 A.D.. Jaca Books.
Huntington, John C.; Bangdel, Dina und Arvidsson, Björn (Traduction), 2010. Le Cercle de la Félicité. Art Méditatif Bhouddhique. «The cercle of Bliss. Buddhist meditational Art».. Genève: Duo Visual.
Rambach, Pierre, 1978. Le Bouddha secret du tantrisme japonais. Genève: Skira . Sur l'iconographie d'Acala
von Schroeder, Ulrich, 2001. Buddhist Sculptures in Tibet. Vol. One: India & Nepal; Vol. Two: Tibet & China. Hong Kong: Visual Dharma Publications, Ltd.. Vol. Two: Tibet & China, pp. 1038-1039, 1112-1113; Pls. 259, 291 - Compare with other images of Acala