Vajradhara and Prajnaparamita

Vajradhara is a Buddha in Esoteric Buddhism. This branch of Buddhism is also called Vajrayana or Tantric Buddhism.Vajradhara, which means “holding a vajra” (thunderbolt), represents the highest state of enlightenment. Here he is shown in union with Prajna, a female principle who symbolizes wisdom. Union with her represents the attainment of knowledge. The Buddha sits firmly in the meditation posture, holding a vajra, and a bell with a vajra handle, while the female embraces him with her arms and legs. She holds a curved knife and skull cup. Their faces reflect harmony: they touch their noses, lips, and chins. A deep serenity characterizes their embrace.

14th/15th century
Nepal or Tibet
Object size: 22.8 x 16.3 x 15.5 cm
Accession No.
gilt copper alloy
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum

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