Vajravarahi

Vajravarahi

1300s

Gilt bronze with turquoise inlay

Overall: 36 cm (14 3/16 in.)

Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1982.50

Description

Vajravarahi is the tantric Buddhist counterpart to the Hindu mother goddess Varahi, identifiable by the boar head emerging above her right ear. She is a female enlightened being who emanated from the Buddhist Goddess of Perfect Wisdom. Enlightened beings transcend gender distinctions, and they can emanate as either male or female.

The lithe figure dances while carrying a skull cup in her left hand. Raised up in her right hand is a ritual flaying knife with a handle in the shape of a halfvajra, used for skinning the metaphorical beast of uncontrolled passions. The pegs cast into her lower body were for holding a bone skirt.

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