pastel and ink on paper
35 x 26 inches (sheet)
Private Collection

Vajradhara, the Adi-Buddha or Primordial Buddha, is the source of all the manifestations of enlightenment.  His name means “holder of the vajra,” meaning that he is the holder or protector of Tantrism. As such he is considered to be the origin of the five Dhyani Buddhas. (Some Vajrayana schools consider Vajrasattva to be the Adi-Buddha.)

Vajradhara’s arms are crossed at the wrists, a gesture symbolizing highest energy and the union of compassion and wisdom symbolized by the vajra (compassion) in his right hand and the bell (wisdom) in his left hand.  This image was taken from a 15th century Tibetan painting (thanka).

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