Akshobhya, 2010

Acrylic on paper

48.25 x 34.24 inches (frame)


Akshobhya is one of the five Dhyani Buddhas, whose creative powers have been compared to the Old Testament Elohim. The five Dhyani Buddhas represent five Buddha families, each with a distinctive color, mudra, direction, mount, consort, and virtue which counteracts and transmutes a specific poison. Akshobhya is head of the vajra (thunderbolt) family, which represents mirror-like wisdom that combats anger and hatred. His color is blue, his direction is east, his mount is the elephant, and his consort is Mamaki. Many of the members of Akshobhya's family are wrathful deities including Vajrapani, Heruka, Hevajra, and Vajrakila. Akshobhya means unshakable. His pose is the earth-touching mudra, which is also used to depict Gautama remaining unshakable in the face of of the temptations of Mara. In this depiction, taken from a 13th century Tibetan painting, Akshobhya is shown sitting on the six-ornament throne of enlightenment. On both the left and right uprights, in ascending order, are elephant, lion, gander, and vyala. Other ganders are perched on top of the uprights, with garuda and serpents (nagas) on top of Akshobhya's halo.


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