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.