Guru Padmasambhava with Yeshe Tsogyal and Mandarava Thangka is handpainted in Kathmandu Nepal. Guru Rinpoche is in the center of the thangka and Yeshe Tsogyal and Mandarava are on the bottom of the Thangka.
The khatvanga, a danda with three severed heads denoting the three kayas, crowned by a trishula and dressed in a sash of the Himalayan Rainbow or Five Pure Lights of the Mahabhuta is a particular divine attribute of Padmasambhava and intrinsic to his iconographic representation.
His two eyes are wide open in a piercing gaze. On his body, he wears a white vajra undergarment and, on top of this, in layers, a red robe, a dark blue mantrayana tunic, a red monastic shawl decorated with a golden flower pattern, and a maroon cloak of silk brocade. He has one face and two hands.
In his right hand, he holds a five-pronged vajra at his heart; and in his left, which rests in the gesture of equanimity, he holds a skull-cup in the center of which is a vase of longevity filled with the nectar of deathless wisdom.
Cradled in his left arm is a three-pointed khatvanga representing the consort Mandarava. On his head, he wears a five-petalled lotus hat. Wrathful and smiling, he blazes magnificently with the splendor of the major and minor marks. He is seated with his two feet in the royal posture.
Yeshe Tsogyal is a Tibetan yogini. She was born in the region of Kharchen, Tibet, in about 777CE, she lived for approximately 99 years and is a preeminent figure in Tibetan Buddhism and a role model for contemporary spiritual practitioners. Although often referred to as being Padamasambhava’s main consort, she was primarily a spiritual master and teacher in her own right.
She is known to have revealed terma with Padmasambhava and was also the main scribe for this terma. Later, Yeshe Tsogyal also hid many of Padmasambhava’s terma on her own, under the instructions of Padmasambhava for future generations.
Mandarava, along with Yeshe Tsogyal, one of the two principal consorts of great 8th century Indian tantric teacher Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche), a founder-figure of Tibetan Buddhism, described as a ‘second Buddha’ by many practitioners.
Mandarava is considered to be a female guru-deity in Tantric Buddhism or Vajrayana.