Code: ABS 170
Country: India (north-east)
Style: Late Pala Style
Date: 1050 - 1150
Dimensions in cm WxHxD: 5.3 x 7.3 x 2.4
Materials: Yellowish-beige stone
The four-faced and eight-armed goddess resembles in many aspects the Buddhist goddess Usnisavijaya (Tib. gTsung tor rnam par rgyal ma). The principal difference is the presence of four heads instead of three. The goddess is seated in the diamond attitude (vajrapatyankasana) on a double pedestal with a double projection at the front (pancaratha). She is clad with a cloth tied around the waist with a belt. she wears jeweled ornaments, namely a five-pointed crown above each of the three faces, two pairs of circular earrings, necklaces with attached beaded strings and pendants, ornaments at upper arms, wrists, ankles and feet. She holds the following attributes in her eight hands:
buddhasramana mudra fearlessness (abhaya mudra)
visvavajra bow (capa)
arrow (sara) stalk of a flower supporting...(?)
gift bestowing (varada mudra)(?) threatening (tarjani mudra)
Unisavijaya, the "victorious goddess of the usnisa", is a very popular deity in Tibetan Buddhism and is described in the Sadanamala (SM 191, 211.212).
Images of Unisavijaya are rare in Indian art, but the ritual of this goddess was popular in Tibetan Buddhism. This sculpture is the work of an Indian artist from North-Eastern India and possibly made for a Tibetan Buddhist monk.
Usnisavijaya (Tibetan: gTsug-tor rNam-par rGyal-ma; English: victorious goddess of the usnisa) is a goddess of longevity in Buddhism. She wears an image of the Budda Vairocana in her headdress. She is the most popular Budda goddess in Nepal, Tibet, and Mongolia.
Chandra, Lokesh, 1979. "Iconography of the Goddess Usnisavijaya". JISOANS, Vol. X. Journal of the Indian Society of Oriental Art, New Series. Pp. 17-29, pl. VI, fig. 5 - References to the iconography of Usnisavijaya
Chandra, Lokesh, 1980. "Comparative Iconography of the Goddess Usnisavijaya". Acta orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae. Acta orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae. Pp. 125-37, i illus - References to the iconography of Usnisavijaya
de Mallmann, Marie-Thérèse, 1975. Introduction à l'iconographie du tântrisme bouddhique. Paris: Adrien Mainsonneuve (Jean Maisonneuve successeur (1970). Pp. 389-390 - References to the iconography of Usnisavijaya
Nath, Amarendra, 1977. "An image of Usnisavijaya from Khara Khoto: Identification", JISOANS, Vol. VIII. Journal of the Indian Society of Oriental Art, New Series. Vol. VIII. Pp. 41-47, pl. XVIII - References to the iconography of Usnisavijaya
Sèngué, Tcheuky, 2002. Petite Encyclopédie des Divinités et symboles du Bouddhisme Tibétain. Editions Claire Lumiere . Pp. 256-257 - Références françaises: Ushnishavijaya