Nila - Vajravidarana
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India and Nepal
Orientation 3
Display 5

ABS 152

 Code: ABS 152

  Country: Nepal (west)

  Style: Khasha Malla

  Date: 1250 - 1350

  Dimensions in cm WxHxD: 9.2 x 12.2 x 5.1

  Materials: Gilt copper


This wrathful form of Vajrapani, known as Nila-Vajravidarana, is stepping out to the right in the warrior stance (pratyalidhasana) on a corpse laid out upon a double lotus pedestal. The corpse represents an inner demon that he has overcome. He brandishes a five-pronged diamond sceptre (vajra) in the right uplifted hand and holds a prayer-bell (ghanta) in the left hand. This gilded copper image was presumably cast by a Newariartist for Khasha Malla patrons of Western Nepal. Many of the statues attributed to the Khasha Malla kingdom have distinct lotus pedestals.

Vajrapani is one of the earliest bodhisattvas of Mahayana Buddhism. Vajrapani was depicted extensively in Buddhist iconography as one of the three protective deities surrounding the Buddha. Each of them symbolizes one of the Buddha's virtues: Manjushri (the manifestation of all the Buddhas' wisdom), Avalokiteshvara (the manifestation of all the Buddhas' compassion) and Vajrapani (the manifestation of all the Buddhas' power). For the yogi or the yoginiVajrapani is a means of accomplishing fierce determination and symbolizes unrelenting effectiveness in the conquest of negativity. He is also a protector of Tara.