Vajrasattva Shakti with Vajradhara is handpainted in Nepal by using traditional Color. The size of this thangka is 60 x 44cm and its weight is 0.1kg. Vajrasattva is the archetype deity.
Vajrasattva is presented at the center of the painting. Four Vajradhara are presented on the four corners of the thangka. Shakyamuni Buddha is presented at the top of the Vajrasattva in the thangka. The vajra held before his heart in his right hand and the bell in his left symbolizes compassion and wisdom.
He is shown here with his consort who holds a skull cup, symbolizing spiritual powers and a “driguk” knife that slices through the illusion of duality. This exquisite thangka depicts Vajrasattva with his consort, Vajratopa (Dorje Nyema) who is unclad. Except in Dharmakaya depictions, such as Kuntuzangpo/ Kuntuzangmo, Yum deities usually have small skirts and scarves.
Iconography of Vajrasattva
Vajrasattva is pure white in color and is sometimes known as the Prince of Purity. His name means “Adamantine Being”, or more poetically “Embodying Reality”.
He is a member of the Vajra family of Aksobhya which also includes Vajrapani. He is depicted as a young man in the prime of life, with all the silks and jewels of a wealthy prince.
In his right hand, he delicately balances a vajra at his heart. In his left hand, he holds a bell at his waist. The vajra represents Reality, and Compassion; while the bell represents Wisdom.
Vajrasattva is said to have been originated from the seed syllable Hum and is generally invoked for removal of obscuration of Kleshavarana and Jneya Avarana.
His hundred syllable mantra is very efficacious in purifying our defilements through confession practice. It is said if confession is done with the four opponent powers, then non-virtuous actions or obscurations will be purified.
The first opponent power is the force of reliance. This means looking upon the visualized image of Vajrasattva as the embodiment of one refuge. The second opponent power is the sincere regret for the non-virtuous action done by oneself.
The third opponent’s power is desisting from evil deeds. The fourth opponent power is to apply the power of good deeds; and especially regarding this case, practicing the meditation and recitation of Vajrasattva without parting from Bodhicitta while remaining in the state of emptiness.
Vajrasattva is a very popular tutelary deity for Nepalese Vajracharya. He is worshipped very often by Nepalese Buddhists through the Guru Mandala ritual.
In some mandalas Vajrasattva represents the Adi Buddha or the Primordial Principle of Buddhahood in others, he changes places with Aksobhya in the East.
In Shingon Buddhism it is Vajrasattva that passes on the initiation of the Dharmakāya Buddha Mahāvairocana to Nagarjuna, thereby creating the Vajrayana lineage.
Mantra of Vajrasattva
The mantra of Vajrasattva is Om Vajrasattva Hum.
Iconography of Vajradhara
Four Vajradhara are presented on the four corners of the thangka. 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 their 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’s 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.
Iconograpy of Shakyamuni
Shakyamuni Buddha is presented at the top of the Vajrasattva in the thangka. His left hand is in the lap holding a begging bowl while the right arm is extended across the leg with the fingers touching the earth.
His skin is golden in color, the eyes partially closed and the hair piled with a gold ornament adorning the top of the head.
A dot (bindi or “urna”) between the eyebrows and the earlobes is elongated and pierced. The shoulders are covered with an orange and red robe wrapped around the torso and legs and tied at the waist with a green sash.
Mantra of Shakyamuni
The mantra of Shakyamuni is Om Muni Muni Maha Muniye Soha.