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vajradhara | by omnos
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This ink drawing is based on a freehand copy of a traditional Tibetan Buddhist black and white "iron-wire" outline. The colors and the leaning posture were added by me.


Vajradhara is usually portrayed with a lithe, graceful body, sitting upright on a lotus petal, with a slight tilt to his head. I chose to exaggerate that tilt to emphasize his harmony with the flow of things as well as his stillness at the center of things.


The name Vajradhara means "holder of the vajra [thunderbolt]," implying that Vajradhara is the holder or protector of Tantrism -- the Tibetan form of Buddhism. Here he holds a vajra in each hand.


There is a sacred mark between his eyebrows, representing wisdom. His neck has three folds, which are derived from the auspicious conch shell blown at Buddhist ceremonies, and which signify the sweetness of his own speech. The five-pronged crown and the numerous jewels adorning his body indicate his pre-eminent status in the Buddhist pantheon of bodhisattvas or dieties.


View on a black background

View a mandala generated from this drawing

View another mandala generated from the same drawing

View a ritual implement with crossed vajras


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Taken on April 23, 2005