A VERY FINE GILT COPPER ALLOY FIGURE OF CHAKRASAMVARA AND VAJRAVARAHI Tibet, 15th Century
- Gilt bronze
Private Portland, Oregon collection.
Acquired privately 2014.
Chakramsavara and Vajravarahi wear the tantric adornments of the six bone ornaments representing the six paramitas or perfections. These textural bone ornaments appear in beaded rows in the present work, and also represent the Five Dhyani Buddhas: (1) the crown of the head, symbolizing dhyana or concentration and Buddha Akshobhya; (2) the earrings that symbolize kshanti or patience and the Buddha Amitabha; (3) the necklace that symbolizes dana or generosity and Buddha Ratnasambhava; (4) the armlets and anklets that symbolize shila or discipline and the Buddha Vairocana; (5) the girdle and apron that symbolizes virya or exertion and Buddha Amoghasiddhi; and (6) the crisscrossed torso ornament that symbolizes prajña or wisdom and Buddha Vajradhara. From Chakrasamvara’s neck hangs a garland of fifty-one severed heads strung on a length of human intestine and the hair of a corpse, signifying both the purification of speech and the purification of the fifty-one mental factors according to the Cittamatra or Mind-Only School as described by Asanga.
Compare stylistic elements with gilt bronzes commonly thought to have been produced for the Densatil monastery, such as the lozenge shaped jewel insets in the crown band of a fourteenth century Ashtabhuja Tara, see Olaf Czaja and Adriana Proser, eds, Golden Visions of Densatil, New York, 2014, p. 125, cat. no. 26, the earring type and physiognomy of a fourteenth century Vajravarahi, ibid, p. 167, cat. no 42.
Himalayan Art Resources item no. 12929