Four Mandalas of the Vajravali Cycle

15th century

Rubin Museum of Art

Rubin Museum of Art
New York, United States

This exquisite thangka is the thirteenth painting in a set depicting the mandalas of the Vajravali cycle, a compendium of esoteric teachings compiled by the eleventh-century Indian master Abhayakaragupta and widely transmitted in Tibet. It features, from left to right and top to bottom, the Vajradhatu mandala with an eight-armed form of Vairochana in the center; the Durgatiparishodhana mandala with the central Shakyasimha, another aspect of Vairochana; the mandala of the wrathful Bhutadamara; and the mandala of the goddess Marichi. The subsidiary deities form two assemblies that complement the top two mandalas, but are not described in the Vajravali teachings.


  • Title: Four Mandalas of the Vajravali Cycle
  • Date Created: 15th century
  • Physical Dimensions: 36.25 x 29.25 in
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Rubin Museum of Art, C2007.6.1
  • Medium: Pigments on cloth
  • Place of Creation: Tibet
  • Exhibition History: Rubin Museum of Art, "Masterworks: Jewels of the Collection" (01/25/12 - 01/14/13), Rubin Museum of Art, "The Nepalese Legacy in Tibetan Painting" (09/03/10 - 05/23/11), Rubin Museum of Art, "Mandala: The Perfect Circle" (08/14/09 - 01/11/10), Rubin Museum of Art, "From the Land of the Gods: Art of the Kathmandu Valley" (03/14/08 - 02/09/09), Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, CA, "Mandala: The Architecture of Enlightenment" (07/19/00 - 09/17/00), Asia Society, New York, NY, "Mandala: The Architecture of Enlightenment" (09/24/97 - 01/04/98)

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