Acala with Consort Vishvavajri

Nepal, Kathmandu Valley

Not on view

Acala (literally, “immovable”) is a wrathful manifestation of Manjushri, the bodhisattva of supreme wisdom, and, in Nepalese Buddhism, a manifestation of Chakrasamvara. He is popularly associated with magic, healing, and protection from disease. This painting is a visualization of the Chandamaharoshana Tantra, the meditational text devoted to Acala. With its intense colors, dynamic postures, and imposing scale, it ranks among the most powerful examples of sixteenth-century Nepalese painting. Crowned, jeweled, and wielding his sword, Acala cuts through the veil of ignorance. In his left hand he holds a vajra-tipped noose to catch the ignorant, while also gesturing in admonition. He is locked in sexual embrace with his consort, Vishvavajri. The pair visually expresses the bliss of enlightenment that can be achieved by the combination of wisdom and compassion.

Acala with Consort Vishvavajri, Distemper on cloth, Nepal, Kathmandu Valley

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