Vajrabhairava with His Consort Vajravetali


Not on view

The wrathful Vajrabhairava is a yidam, a deity that presides over the great tantras of the highest yoga in Tibetan Buddhism. A guardian and destroyer of death, he is represented here with thirty-four arms brandishing an array of weapons, while his sixteen legs trample birds, dogs, and Hindu gods. He embraces his consort Vajravetali, an animated corpse, in a yab-yum sexual embrace that alludes to a dualistic totality encompassing compassion and wisdom. An orange, flaming aureole with swirling clouds edged in gold encircles the couple. Above presides Vajrabhairava’s parent Buddha, Akshobhya, and twelve associated manifestations of Hayagriva appear above and below.

Vajrabhairava with His Consort Vajravetali, Distemper on cloth, Tibet

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