Mandala of Manjuvajra, Tantric Form of the Bodhisattva Manjushri


Not on view

At center sits Manjushri, the peaceful form of Manjuvajra, a bodhisattva who cuts through ignorance. He is golden, has three faces, and embraces his consort Prajna—iconography as prescribed in the Vajrayana text the Nishpanna Yogavali (Garland of Perfection Yoga). In the four directions are towers with floral motifs spewing from the mouths of makaras that together take the form of crossed vajras, denoting the stable axis upon which Manjushri sits. Rings of lotus petals, vajras, and fire mark the sacred space of the central palace. In the corners are images of Manjushri. Below are Taras and ferocious protectors, including Mahakala and Palden Lhamo as well as a monk who performs the consecration ritual for the mandala. The figural style and ornamental rendering suggest that a Nepalese artist painted this work for a Tibetan patron.

Mandala of Manjuvajra, Tantric Form of the Bodhisattva Manjushri, Distemper on cloth, Tibet

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