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Vadjrasattva in Yabyum with Sakti (Newari style)


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Vadjrasattva (tib. Dorje Sempa) is considered to be both a bodhisattva and one of the six Dhyani (Buddhas in meditation) Buddhas.  The tradition that views Vadjrasattva as a bodhisattva regards him as the manifestation of the purity that is ultimate reality.  Vadjrasattva is also considered the primordial Buddha of all mandalas (geometric visualization aides as well as the homes of deities).   He wears the robes of a bodhisattva, holding the vadjra (dorje) in his right hand and the ghanta bell in his left. 

As a Dhyani Buddha, Vadjrasattva retains the same physical characteristics he displays as a bodhisattva, and is still recognized by his white color and the one vadjra he holds at his chest with his right hand.  He is represented both alone and in yabyum with Sakti who holds up a skull cup with her right hand and a katari knife in her left.  Vadjrasattva and Sakti embrace in dhyanasana position, both sitting cross-legged in meditative pose. 

Here, Vadjrasattva is in yabyum with Sakti in a garden paradise upon a lotus blossom.  From their embrace grows flowers and branches of a tree that gives shelter for all sentient beings.  Dancing on a lotus below them and to the left is the Hindu god of wisdom and success, Ganesh.  This Newari style piece beautifully shows the interconnectedness of Hindu and Buddhist ideals that is the everyday reality of Nepal. 


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