The dharmapala Vaijrabhairava

Mongolian Collection

Accession Nr.: 54.240.1
Type: painting; textile; thangka
Date of production:
19th century
Place of production:
Materials: cotton canvas
Techniques: painted
Dimensions: height: 32 cm
width: 26.3 cm
A thangka without border depicting the blue-colored Dharmapala Vasrabhairava, the most common form of Yamantaka. He stands sideways, in a right-exit posture, in a jab-yum position with his feminine energy, Vajravetali. Of its nine heads, the middle one is an oversized bull's head, with three heads in a circle on each side and two more above the middle, and Manjusri's at the top. There are body parts, weapons and tantric symbols in his thirty-four hands. In the middle ones he holds skull cups filled with blood and axes. His red-dyed, upward hair is on fire and his head has the skull crown typical of wrathful gods, a third eye on his forehead. There are jewels on his naked body, and a garland of human heads around his neck. With his sixteen feet he tramples on living creatures. His feminine energy has a crown of skulls on her head, and a skull cup and an axe in her hands. Above him is Tsongkhapa and two lamas. Around him are peaceful and wrathful deities.