Unknown1800 - 1999

Hong Kong Heritage Museum

Hong Kong Heritage Museum

This Yamantaka, 'jigs-byed, represents the angry aspect of the Bodhisattva Manjusri in Esoteric Buddhism. All schools practice his Dharma, but he is particularly important in the Gelugpa and Sakyapa schools, and the evocation and transformation into this deity constitutes the dharma-paryaya of the practice of Anuttara-yoga, the Unsurpassed Yoga-tantra. The meaning of the dharma-laksana of Yamantaka is the concentration of the simplified great Dharma of Esoteric practice. The nine heads that adorn his body represent the nine Kings of Hell (Yama; Tibetan: gshed-dmar) that he has slain, as well as the nine anukrama of Esoteric practice; the two water buffalo horns represent the two meanings and the two truths; the thirty-four arms, together with his body, speech and senses, represent the thirty-seven properties of the Dharma associated with Bodhisattvas becoming Buddhas, namely, the eight aryastangika-marga, the four [catvari] smrtyupasthanani, the four catvara-rddhipadha, the four prahanani, the five indriya, the five roots (pancendriyani ), and the seven sambodhyanga. The sixteen legs represent the sixteen faces of the Iron City (ayah-prakara) Hell of King Yama that he subjugated, as well as the Sixteen Voids. The Dharma laksana signify that if one has perfected the thirty-seven attributes and gained a thorough understanding of the sixteen prakrti-sunyata one will be able to remove all obstacles and all demons, attain enlightenment and achieve nirvana.

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  • Title: Yamantaka
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: 1800 - 1999
  • Physical Dimensions: w630 x h860 mm
  • Type: Thangka