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Last BuddhaFuture Buddha

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Tibetan Gilt Bronze Buddha Statue
Standing Above Preta
Circa: 18-19th Century
H 5 in.(12.5cm.), W 4 in.(10cm.), D 2 in.(5cm.)
Condition: minor abrasions

This wildly expressive statue, only inches in height, possesses a furious and potent energy compacted into its small mass. A virile, authentic Tibetan yidam, this Vajrapani was no doubt an important presence in a Buddhist altar. Along with the very detailed and symbolically extensive rendering, the work is sealed at the bottom, indicating that a ceremony was held calling Vajrapani into the statue, after which it was consecrated and engraved with the double vajra.

Vajrapani, holder of the thunderbolt scepter symbolizing the absolute transforming power of enlightenment, is one of the earliest bodhisattvas of Mahayana Buddhism. He crushes beneath his feet all delusion, represented by the preta, or hungry ghost, stretched out under him. He wears a garland of freshly severed heads, a serpent necklace and a loincloth made from the skin of a tiger; bone necklaces, armbands and anklets representing the paramitas of charity, morality and action. The five-skull crown with each of the five skulls surmounted by a gold-encased jewel represents the “death” of the five poisons and the five aggregates of the personality. Vajrapani’s blue-black hair standing on end accentuates the wrathful expression of his knitted brows beneath the third eye. Blood streams from the corners of his mouth, visible as tiny chisel marks on the surface. The statue is supported by a lotus base, sculpted in a band of delicate radiating petals. --RW

Last BuddhaFuture Buddha

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