Nila-Achala or "Blue Achala" - the "Immovable One"
  See it in the Museum
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 or “Blue Achala” - the “Immovable One”

Achala is the destroyer of delusions and one of the protectors of Buddha’s teachings. Because of his role as a protector, Achala shows the fierce expression and attributes of a wrathful deity. He is frequently depicted with two protruding fangs. Sometimes one tooth points down, representing his compassion to the world, and the other points up, representing his passion for truth. Achala is often depicted with the Third Eye. He can be white (sita) or blue (nila).
Achala means "The Immovable One" in Sanskrit which refers to his ability to resist temptations. Frequently he stands on a rock or mountain to illustrate his affinity to these surroundings. 
Achala is shown kneeling on one knee on a double lotus pedestal. He brandishes a sword (khadga) with his right hand, to show that he is "cutting through ignorance". With the left hand, displaying the threatening gesture, he holds a noose (pasha) at heart-level for catching and binding (inner) demons.
Achala wears princely ornaments, namely the jewelled three-pointed crown in front of the helmet, a pair of circular earrings, necklaces, ornaments on both upper arms, the “investiture with the sacred thread” (upavita), as well as bracelets and anklets. Achala wears a ribbon-like scarf over his shoulders with swirling ends hanging down at both sides. The image is encircled by a flaming aureole.

This statue was made by a Newari artist for a Tibetan patron during the 13th century. 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.