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Paintings > Thangka > Buddha > Tibetan Buddhist Yamantaka Ekavira (Vajrabhairava) - Large Brocadeless Thangka
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Tibetan Buddhist Yamantaka Ekavira (Vajrabhairava) - Large Brocadeless Thangka

Tibetan Buddhist Yamantaka Ekavira (Vajrabhairava) - Large Brocadeless Thangka

Tibetan Buddhist Yamantaka Ekavira (Vajrabhairava) - Large Brocadeless Thangka

Yamantaka is known as the wrathful form of Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of wisdom. Yamantaka is a Dharmapala or a wrathful deity and is called Vajrabhairava in Sanskrit. In traditional depictions, he is pictured with nine faces with a topmost face showing Manjushri (and a red face below it). The faces have three eyes each, symbolizing his power to see the past, present, and future. Manjushri is also known as the lord of terminating death, a goal in the life of Buddhists to break the cycle of samsara or rebirth, only then can enlightenment be achieved. This Yamantaka Ekavira appears in the solitary form.

The thirty-four hands hold symbolic objects and symbols in each. He is depicted with sixteen legs. His skin is blue to symbolize the never-ending Dharma. The central pair of hands are seen wielding a curved knife (to cut materialism) and a skull cap (to drink for bliss or enlightenment). He also holds elephant skin as a sign of victory against small-mindedness. Some of the objects in his set of hands-on his right side include a dart to pierce through conception, a pestle (to destroy degenerated thinking), an arrow (to shoot pain of preconception), a hook (to keep evil at bay), a skull-club (to remove obstacles), among others. Meanwhile, some of the hands-on the left side of his body include head of Brahma (work with compassion), a leg of a man (walking through enlightenment), a bell (symbol for wisdom), and a hand of a man (symbol to perform the four acts). The beings trampled on by his right foot represent the eight siddhis, while the ones stepped on by the left foot represent the eight powers. He steps on beings but it does not mean that he takes lives, it means that he can bring the world under his control. His aura of flames also represents wisdom. At the bottom is Mahakala, a form of Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of compassion. Meanwhile, the one the right is the protector of Vajrabhairava Tantras, wielding a bone stick and lasso and enjoined by consort Chamundi, both of whom are atop a buffalo. These deities are protectors of the Gelugpa school of Buddhism.

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