Devi Vasudhara is an Indian-origin Bodhisattva of the Newar tradition. As a gentle shashabhujadharini (the one possessed of six arms) whose name translates to a stream (‘dhara’) of jewels (‘vasu’), She is considered the Buddhist equivalent of Devi Lakshmi, especially Her Bhoodevi aspect. The thangka that you see on this page depicts the sweet Vasudhara seated in a rudimentary bhadrasana.
The stance of the feet resembles that of the Devi Tara in Her various iconographies, which means that it is atypical of the Buddhist Devi iconography in general. The complexion of Her body has the roseate glow of moist, fertile earth. She is wearing a dhoti of silk tied below the navel. The torso is bare but for the sapphires, rubies, and emeralds of Her shringar. There is something unearthly about the gentle composure of Her countenance. It is accentuated by the stance of Her neck and the half-shut eyes, which indicate that She may be gazing upon ihaloka (mortal realm of existence). It is accentuated by the large kundalas (danglers) in Her karna (ears) and the extensively bejewelled crown on Her head.
The throne of Vashudhara is the belly of a lotus with gigantic, multicoloured petals. An ornate, solid aureole behind Her back. A pale peach-coloured halo the shape of a handheld rice huller. Finally, the vibrant jewel tones of the colour palette. All these are hallmarks of the expressive, Newar-style thangka.
Represented with six arms she holds in the lower left hand her characteristic symbol, the treasure vase. The hand above holds another distinguishing attribute, the ears of corn (Tib. 'bru'I sne ma). The third left hand holds a book, the Prajnaparamita sutra.
The lower right hand is in the varada mudra of charity; the one above holds three precious wish-fulfilling jewels, while the upper hand makes a mudra of salutation. The right leg is pendent, and the foot is unsupported resting upon a vase.
Each of our thangkas comes framed in silk brocade and veil, ready to be hung in your altar.
Click here to view an image of this thangka with brocade.
Size of the thangka with brocade : 1.8ft X 2.7ft
Beer, Robert. The Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs. Boston: Shambhala Publications, 1999.
Getty, Alice. The Gods of Northern Buddhism. New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal, 1978.
Lipton, Barbara, and Ragnubs, Nima Dorjee. Treasures of Tibetan Art: Collection of the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.
Pal, Pratapaditya. Art of Tibet. Los Angeles: The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1990.
Rhie, Marylin M. & Thurman, Robert A.F. Wisdom and Compassion: The Sacred Art of Tibet. London: Thames and Hudson, 1996.
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