Loaned Artwork

The Hevajra Maṇḍala is a sacred Vajrayāna Buddhist mandala closely associated with the Hevajra Tantra tradition. The Hevajra Maṇḍala is a sacred Buddhist symbol used in a variety of meditative and ritual contexts to facilitate a deeper relationship with the deity Hevajra and personal growth on a spiritual level for the meditator or practitioner. 

The Buddhist doctrine of emptiness forms the basis for the Hevajra Maṇḍala’s underlying philosophy. This doctrine states that all things are ultimately empty of intrinsic reality and must rely on causes to continue existing. The Maṇḍala is a symbol of this void, as it represents the unity of all things and the quest for enlightenment. In Vajrayāna Buddhism, Hevajra is revered as a Iṣṭadeva, or meditation deity, and is regarded as a major deity. The wrathful deity Hevajra is often depicted as a chimera with multiple heads and arms, brandishing a plethora of weapons and symbols.

The Hevajra Maṇḍala is a complicated and detailed diagram that features a wide variety of gods and symbols, each with its own iconography and symbolic meaning. Hevajra, the presiding deity of this Maṇḍala, is typically depicted as a fierce, multi-headed, multi-armed, and symbol-wielding deity. As the embodiment of the practice’s emphasis on wisdom, Vajra Nairatmā is frequently depicted with Hevajra in a union embrace.

Hevajra, the supreme deity, is typically depicted with four heads and twelve arms, with various attributes.  He is armed with a vajra, bell, skull cup, and other weapons and symbols that each stand for a different aspect of the practice. Vajra Nairatmā, the consort of Hevajra, is frequently depicted with a single face and two arms to signify the enlightened nature of the practice. She is adorned with two significant symbols of Vajrayāna Buddhism—the vajra and the bell. A number of gods and goddesses are depicted in the Maṇḍala’s outer circle. These include the Four Great Kings, who are linked to the cardinal directions, and the Eight Mothers, who stand in for the elements of the cosmos. The deities of the inner circle of the Maṇḍala include the Five Dhyāni Buddhas, who symbolize the five wisdom of enlightenment, and the Eight Bodhisattvas, who personify different aspects of the Buddhist path.

As a whole, the Hevajra Maṇḍala’s iconography of the deities is intricate and multifaceted, representing different aspects of the cosmos and the spiritual path. It is a powerful and transformative visual representation of the Vajrayāna Buddhist path, with each deity and symbol carefully chosen and placed according to its specific meaning.

This particular painting of the Hevajra Maṇḍala was created by Lok Chitrakar almost 25 years ago. The painting has not yet reached its completion. This demonstrates the level of commitment, patience, research, and intricacy of design that goes into the creation of a Paubha painting of such caliber. 

About the Art

Mineral Color on Cotton Canvas
Size: 56.5 X 44.5 inches

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