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Later Tibetan Gallery



Tibet. 16th Century

Vajravarahi, a Sanskrit term means "Diamond Sow". The small sow may be seen emerging from the side of her head and represents her mastery over delusion and false perceptions. Its presence however reminds us that even though ignorance may be regularly overcome it still arises from time to time and there is no state in which it is vanquished forever.

She is essentially naked, or as Tibetans refer to it, "Sky clad", covered only by human bone ornaments as necklace, apron, bangles, anklets which in tantric Buddhist meaning represent her mastery over illusion and false understanding.
She holds in her hands a chopper with vajra top and a skull bowl. These represent the full and complete awareness she possess (the bowl) and the ongoing cleaving process which separates wisdom from ignorance (the chopper). She is encircled by a garland of skulls to show her "deadness" to the world as we perceive it , as do the skulls in her crown. She dances on the corpse of "worldliness".

This image is quite lively and vital and despite posing on a diminutive lotus, still maintains a sense of balance.

Height 33.5cm

All Pictures and Text - © Arts Of Asia 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006