oil on canvas
24 x 20 inches
26.5 x 22.5 (frame)
Akshobhya is one of the five Dhyani Buddhas, who represent the 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 counteracts anger and hatred. His color is blue, his direction is the 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 unshakeable. With his right hand he touches the earth with all five fingers (bhumispara mudra). The left hand has the palm facing upward on the lap (dhyana mudra) represents wisdom (prajna). The combination of the two symbolizes enlightenment: the union of skillful means (upaya) and wisdom (prajna). When Gautama is seated in this position, it represents the moment of his enlightenment: when he was sitting under the Bo tree, he called the earth goddess Sthavara to bear witness to his attainment of enlightenment as he remained unshakeable in the face of the temptations of Mara.
This painting was based on a photo of a 16th century Tibetan sculpture. It shows Akshobhya in his uncrowned form.