Seated in vajrasana, his right hand positioned in
front of the abdomen while holding a vajra, the left
bearing a ghanta, shown wearing a dhoti incised
with scroll designs and a billowing scarf draped
over his shoulders, embellished with jeweled necklaces and a tiara in front of a high chignon, the eyes with delicate silver inlay.
Height: 12 1/2 inches (31.7 cm)
Estimate: $20,000 / 30,000
Accompanied by a letter of authentication provided by Dr. Mark Levy, Senior Art Historian, California State University.
In Tibetan Buddhism the Vajrasattva root tantra is Dorje
Gyan, or “Vajra Ornament”. Vajrasattva practices are
common to all of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism
and are used both to purify obstructions so that
the Vajrayana student can progress
beyond Ngondro practices to the various yoga and also
to purify any broken samaya vows after initiation. As
such, Vajrasattva practice is an essential element of
Tibetan Buddhist practice. In addition to personal practice, the Vajrasattva mantra is regarded as having the
ability to purify karma, bring peace, and cause enlightened activity in general.
Vajrasattva holds his definitive vajra in his right hand,
which is raised up to his chest, and the bell in his left
hand, held just above his thigh. The two attributes represent a duality that the deity resolves within himself. The
vajra or thunderbolt, the Tibetan dorje (Lord of Stones),
represents the active, male principle, which is the compassionate means to enlightenment. The bell is the
Perfection of Wisdom symbolized in the void (shunyata)
of its empty yet productive form. The shapes of the vajra and bell also found analogies in the male and female sexual organs, the union of which creates the supreme bliss Vajrasattva himself embodies.