Interpreting Vajravarahi and 5 Deities Tibetan Painting
Vajravarahi, 5 Deity principal tutelary deity of the Six Dharmas of Naropa.
Table of Contents
- 1 - The life of Vajravarahi
- 2 - Iconography of the Vajravarahi
- 3 - Depicting Vajravarahi Thangka
- 4 - Vajravarahi Lineage
- 5 - 6 Dharmas of Naropa
The life of Vajravarahi
In this portion, we are going to learn about the life of Vajrabarahi, after that the short description of the word Vajravarahi itself.
Etymology of Vajravarahi
Earlier, we learn about the life of the Vajravarahi. Now, we are going to learn about the iconography of the Vajravarahi.
Iconography of the Vajravarahi
Posture of the Vajravarahi
Vajravarahi is with a fierce expression, slightly peaceful and slightly wrathful. She is red in color with one face and three eyes. Vajravarahi has dark yellow hair flowing upward at the crown a black boar’s head.
The right-hand of Vajravarahi holds aloft a curved flaying knife with a gold vajra handle. The left to the heart a white skullcup. At the bend of the left elbow stands an upright tantric katvanga staff, ornate with an orange streamer.
Vajravarahi is adorned with a tiara of gold and five white skulls, green ribbons and gold and jewel earrings, a garland of fifty fresh heads, a garland of flowers, a bone necklace, girdle, bracelets, and anklets. Vajravarahi wears a long green scarf around the shoulders.
Vajrabarahi is with the right leg raised in a dancing posture. The left of Vajravarahi presses on a sun disc atop a prone figure. Vajravarahi is completely surrounded by the tight curling flames of orange pristine awareness fire.
Earlier, we learn about the life of the Vajravarahi and the iconography of the Vajravarahi. Now, we are going to learn how to depict Vajravarahi with different deities.
Depicting Vajravarahi Thangka
The thangka of Vajravarahi is from Eastern Tibet. It is made between 1700 – 1799 AD. Vajravarahi is from Karma (Kagyu) lineage. The size of the painting is 37.47×27.31cm. The base of this painting is Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton. Presently, this painting is in the Rubin Museum of Art. By depicting this thangka, we will learn about the presentation of Vajravarahi with different deities such as Red Khandaroha, yellow Rupini, Green Lama, Blue Dakini, and 13th Karmapa Dudul Dorje, etc.
Red Khandaroha is at the top right of the thangka. Khandaroha means something in Buddhism. Being half-male half-female with their two sides being red and yellow.
Yellow Rupini is to the left of the thangka. Yellow Rupini is the name of the goddess found on the southern petal of the Varahyabhyudaya-mandala according to the Varahyayabhyudayatantra.
The central deity of the Varahyabhyudaya-mandala is the twelve-armed Vajravarahi, which is modeled upon the twelve-armed Cakrasamvara, thus inhibiting many similar iconographical features.
Green Lama is at the bottom right of the thangka. The Green Lama is a fictional pulp magazine hero of the 1940s. He is commonly portrayed as a powerful Buddhist Lama, dressing in green robes with a red.
Om! Ma-ni pad-me Hum! The first of its kind, the complete adventures of the Green Lama follows the adventures of Buddhist Jethro Dumont and his aides.
13th Karmapa Dudul Dorje
13th Karmapa Dudul Dorje is at the top center in the thangka. 13th Karmapa Dudul Dorje (1733-1797) with the right hand in the mudra of generosity and the left at the heart holding the stem of a lotus flower.
13th Karmapa Dudul Dorje is wearing the orange and red robes of a monk. The lower body of 13th Karmapa Dudul Dorje is wrapped with a yellow meditation cloak. The top of the head is adorned with a black vajra crown.
13th Karmapa Dudul Dorje is enveloped in spheres of light and ascending rainbow streams he sits on a cushioned seat indicating his earthly status.
Earlier, we learn about the life of the Vajravarahi, the iconography of the Vajravarahi, and to depict Vajravarahi with different deities. Now, we are going to learn about Vajravarahi lineage.
Now, we are going to learn about the list and explanation of the Vajravarahi lineage.
- Marpa (1012-1097)
- Milarepa (1040-1123)
- Dwagpo Sonam Rinchen
- Lord Dusum Khyenpa (1110-1193)
- Pom Dragpa
- Karma Pakshi (1206-1283), etc.
Vajradhara is blue in color who is also known as primordial Buddha and the Dharmakya Buddha. He is also known as “Bearer of the thunderbolt”.
Naropa was also known as a contemporary of Atisa. Naropa was born in a high-status Brahmin family of Bengal. From an early age showed an independent streak, hoping to follow a career of study and meditation.
Succumbing to his parents’ wishes, he agreed to do an arranged marriage with a young Brahmin girl. After 8 years they both married each other and become ordained.
life-story is famous in Tibetan culture and retold many times. The best-known biography, The Life of Milarepa, written by Tsangnyön Heruka (1452–1507) in the fifteenth century and drawing from older biographies, is still very popular.
Most of the present-day stories on Milarepa come from this single source, with oral lineage predominating this as well as relics including his bear skinned coat.
Marpa was born as Marpa Chökyi Lodrö, in Lhodrak Chukhyer in the southern part of Tibet, to an affluent family, he began studying at a young age but was wild and untamed compared to other children.
Dusum Khyenpa was born in eastern Tibet in the year 1110 CE, to a mother named Lhathok Zagang Jam and a father named Gompa Dorje Gönpo.
His birthplace lies in Dreshö, a part of Dreho, Kham, ringed by snow-covered mountains. Unlike those who preceded him in the Marpa Kagyu lineage, Dusum Khyenpa was born to a humble family with a greater aptitude for spiritual practice than worldly success.
The teacher of Karma Parashi was Pomdrakpa, who had received the full Kagyu transmission from Drogon Rechen, the first Karmapa’s spiritual heir.
Pomdrakpa realized, through certain very clear visions, that the child in his charge was the reincarnation of Dusum Khyenpa, as indicated in the letter given to Drogon Rechen.
Earlier, we learn about the life of the Vajravarahi, the iconography of the Vajravarahi, to depict Vajravarahi with different deities, and about Vajravarahi lineage. Now, we are going to learn about 6 Dharmas of Naropa.
6 Dharmas of Naropa
In this portion, we are going to learn about 6 dharmas of Naropa.
They form the basis of the inner yoga practices of Mahamudra, as practiced in the Kagyu and Gelug schools. nner heat which is the root of the path. For a Dzogrim practitioner, this meditation on inner heat is like the root of the entire path.
The illusory body is the foundation of the path. Clear light luminosity which is the heart-essence of the path. Then in order to test the strength of, or assess one’s progress in, the practice of clear light, there is the dream yoga.
For those who are unable to complete the practice of clear light because untimely death occurs, there needs to be one who picks them up. The practice which comes to ‘collect’ you is the practice of phowa.
Then, finally, the juncture which bridges the gap between past and future lives and provides a connection with the Zangdokpalri heaven of Guru Rinpoche or the pure realms such as Sukhavati is the Bardo.
By applying the Bardo teachings a practitioner whose practice isn’t particularly great can transform their practice and become a great practitioner.
Earlier, we learn about the life of the Vajravarahi, the iconography of the Vajravarahi, to depict Vajravarahi with different deities, and about Vajravarahi lineage. And finally, we learn about 6 Dharmas of Naropa.