Vajrasattva with Manjushree thangka is handpainted in Nepal by using traditional Color. Vajrasattva is the archetype deity. He is supplicated in the special yoga of repentance that employs his well-known hundred syllable mantra.
Vajrasattva is presented at the center of the painting. 3 Manjushree are presented at the top right, top left and bottom left corner of the thangka. Shakyamuni Buddha is presented at the top of the Vajrasattva in the thangka. Vajrapani is presented at the bottom right corner of the Vajrasattva in the thangka.
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 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
Oṃ. Vajrasattva, keep your Samaya. As Vajrasattva, remain near me. Be steadfast towards me. Be very pleased with me. Be completely satisfied with me. Be loving to me. Grant me all accomplishments. In all actions, make me mind pure and virtuous. Hūṃ. Ha ha ha ha hoḥ. O Blessed One, Vajra-nature of all the Tathagatas, do not abandon me. Be of vajra-nature, O great Samaya-being, aḥ.
Iconography of Manjushree
3 Manjushree are presented at the top right, top left and bottom left corner of the thangka. Manjushree is the Bodhisattva who holds the flaming sword of enlightenment, by his left hand in a warning hand gesture in the left hand representing his realization of wisdom to cut through ignorance & wrong view. His right hand depicted in teaching holds the stem of a Blue Lotus flower upon which rests the Book (Pustaka) of Perfection of Transcendental Wisdom.
Mantra of Manjushree
The mantra of Manjushree is Om A Ra Pa Ca Na Dhih.
Iconography of Vajrapani
Vajrapani is presented at the bottom right corner of the Vajrasattva in the thangka. Vajrapaṇi is one of the earliest bodhisattvas of Mahayana Buddhism. He is the protector and guide of the Buddha and rose to symbolize the Buddha’s power.
Vajrapani is pictured dancing wildly within a halo of flames which represents transformation. He holds a vajra (thunderbolt) in his right hand which emphasizes the power to cut through the darkness of delusion. Vajrapani looks wrathful, but as a representation of the enlightened mind. He is completely free from hatred.
Mantra of Vajrapani
The mantra of Vajrapani is om vajrapani hum phat.
Iconograpy of Shakyamuni Buddha
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 are 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 Buddha
The mantra of Shakyamuni Buddha is Om Muni Muni Maha Muniye Soha.