MediumInk, pigment on sized cloth, wood frame
DimensionsImage : 7 1/8 x 7 in. (18.1 x 17.78 cm)
Work : 8 1/4 x 8 1/4 x 1 in. (20.96 x 20.96 x 2.54 cm)
Credit LineGift of David Kamansky and Gerald Wheaton
This mandala is dedicated to the deity Vajrabhairava, who appears at the center of its circular inner precinct standing in yab-yum embrace with his consort, Vajravetali. The divine couple are surrounded by eight additional deities from Vajrabhairava’s retinue, starting directly above them with Ragavajra and continuing clockwise with Khadgavajra, Irshyavajra, Padmavajra, Mohavajra, Mudgaravajra, Pisunavajra and Dandavajra. Four skull cups filled with blood touch the central circle opposite the corners of the surrounding square precinct. The gates leading from the square precinct to the outer circular precinct are sealed with the sacred Sanskrit character oṃ. The outer precinct is filled with images of gold canopies and victory banners. The four rings that make up the outermost layers of the mandala contain stylized images of lotus petals, vajra scepters, multi-colored clouds and landscapes that represent the heavenly and earthly realms in which Vajrabhairava operates.