Nila Achala – The "Blue Immovable One"
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Orientation 3
Display 5

ABS 113

 Code: ABS 113

  Country: Tibet


  Date: 1200 - 1300

  Dimensions in cm WxHxD: 15.4 x 25.7 x 7.2

  Materials: Fine-grained beige stone with painted decoration

Nila Achala – The "Blue Immovable One"

Kneeling on a lotus pedestal the deity brandishes a sword with his right hand and holds a noose in his left. Of dark blue colour, he has three eyes and bites his lower lip, unveiling sharp teeth. Adorned with the royal ornament of the divine manifestation, he is surrounded by a flaming halo. At the base of the pedestal kneels a small naked figure in supplication, possibly a demonic entity tamed by the deity.

Achala is a wrathful meditation deity, destroyer of delusions and protector of the Buddha’s teachings. His name literally means "The Immovable One" in Sanskrit, referring to the stability of wisdom and the immutability of Buddhahood. He is frequently represented on a rock or a mountain. His most usual manifestations can be white, blue or red.

Achala is particularly important in Japanese Tantric Buddhism. In Tibet, along with Shakyamuni Buddha, Avalokiteshvara, and Tara, he belongs to a group of four deities especially worshipped in the Kadam school.

This polychrome statue carved in stone reproduces the Indian Pala tradition. It was possibly made by a Newari artist from the Kathmandu Valley for a Tibetan patron. Following the near extinction of Buddhism in India at the end of the 12th century, the Newari artists became the dominant foreign craftsman in Tibet and also in China.