oil on canvas
40″ x 28″
Vairochana is one of the five Dhyani Buddhas, each of which represents one Buddha family. Vairochana represents the Buddha family. Each of the five have a distinctive color, mudra, direction, mount, consort, and virtue which counteracts and transmutes a specific poison.
The name Vairochana means “He Who Is Like the Sun” or “the Radiating One.” Vairochana represents the Buddha family and the origin of the Dhyani Buddhas. His wisdom overcomes the poison of ignorance, which is considered the primary poison, encompassing all the rest. His direction is the center, his color is white and his mount is the lion. His symbol is the dharmachakra, the 8-spoked wheel of the teaching; his mudra is the gesture of teaching, which is defined as turning the wheel of the Law.
Here Vairochana is shown with his hands in the vajra mudra, also known as the highest awakening mudra or six elements mudra or the fist of wisdom (jnamusti or bodhyagri mudra). The index finger of the left hand is raised and then clenched by the five fingers of the right hand. It symbolizes the unity of the five worldly elements (earth, water, fire, air, space) with spiritual consciousness.
The qualities of the Dhyani Buddhas evolved over time with the attributes changing between their earliest appearance in tantras of about the 6th century AD and later tantras of about the 10th century.
This image comes from a photo of a sculpture by Zanabazar (1635-1723), a monk, sculptor and politician who invigorated the Buddhist faith in Mongolia.