Tibetan thangka of Vajradhara is hand-painted by a thangka artist in Nepal. Vajradhara is also known as primordial Buddha. Vajradhara is one of two primeval Buddhas associated with the Trikaya Doctrine.
Vajradhara is presented at the center of the thangka. Vajradhara also exists in the second dimension of emptiness realized through the understanding of the emptiness of all phenomena called Dharmakaya. Dharmakaya means Truth Body or Reality Body.
Iconography of Vajradhara
The name Vajradhara means the bearer of the lightning scepter. The inherent tradition of lightning representing transformation & energy originates 2,500 c. BCE. The term Vajra is a typical Sanskrit word being a composite of VA- meaning to bear or carry, ja or ja whose syllable denotes the energy & Ra meaning to rise, overcome, or power.
A vajra scepter is a special object that embodies the principle of change. Conjoined prongs at each end denote lightning bolts and they’re being conjoined denotes latent self reacting energy. In effect as important to Buddhism as the Cross to Christianity.
The Vajra has four prongs enclosing a fifth central prong making five in total and at both ends. The tridents are another representation of the lightning more associated with Hinduism. Varjadhara’s arms are crossed in a gesture of victory over the Three Worlds with reference to the syllable ‘Hum’, & is seated in the lotus seat.
The lotus seat & the crossed arms mudra are together called the Skt. Vajrasana or Position of transcendent change. The white sash draped across Vajradharas chest represents the purity and essence of the Vajrayana school of Buddhism.
In fact, Mahayana & Hinayana both arise from the ancient Vajrayana tradition of personal transformation.