Buddha Vajrasattva – The "Adamantine Being"
  See it in the Museum
Orientation 2
Display 2

ABS 093

 Code: ABS 093

  Country: Tibet (west)


  Date: 1050 - 1150

  Dimensions in cm WxHxD: 7.3 x 15.3 x 4.5

  Materials: Brass

Buddha Vajrasattva – “The Adamantine Being”

Vajrasattva, Dorje Sempa in Tibetan, sits legs crossed in meditation on a single lotus pedestal. Young and handsome with a bright white complexion, he is adorned with the silk garments and jewellery proper to the divine manifestations. His right hand holds a vajra in front of his heart and an inverted bell against his thigh in the left. The vajra symbolises the male principle of “skilful means” or active compassion, and the bell the female principle of wisdom and emptiness. His hair is arranged in an intricate topknot with locks falling over his shoulders, and a sacred thread crosses his chest. Vajrasattva is encircled by a broad, flaming aureole, and his head set off against a second, pointed aureole. These halos associate to the narrow lotus pedestal and the Buddha’s slim waist and muscular figure indicate a strong Kashmiri influence.
This image is the work of a Tibetan artist who let himself be inspired by contemporary sculptures of artists from Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh who often worked for Tibetan patrons during the 11th and 12th centuries.

Vajrasattva is very popular in Vajrayana Buddhism. He condenses the five Buddha families and the hundred peaceful and wrathful deities. Through his famous “Hundred syllables mantra,” he is especially invoked for mental purification.