Let your eyes wander over the surface of this picture to catch the twinkle of mica chips added to the paint.

This eight-armed form of the All-Seeing Lord is particularly noted for his ability to take any shape whatsoever to be of aid to those in need, either as an object lesson or to protect the devotee.

Shape-shifters appear in many cultures. In Nordic myth, Odin could appear as any beast or bird; and in Greek myth, Zeus assumed animal guises such as that of a bull and a swan to pursue beautiful young women. In Buddhist thinking, however, there is no constant, underlying being; each form, even the perfected form, is only an appearance.


  • Title: Amoghapasha
  • Date: ca. 1400
  • Date Created: ca. 1400
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Rubin Museum of Art, C2006.66.592
  • Medium: Mineral pigments on cloth
  • Place of Creation: Nepal
  • Exhibition History: Rubin Museum of Art, "Masterworks: Jewels of the Collection" (01/25/12 - 01/14/13), Rubin Museum of Art, "Perfect Beings, Pure Realms" (10/02/04 - 10/16/06)

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