Chakrasamvara with His Consort
MediumPigments, gilding on sized cloth
DimensionsWork : 4 1/2 x 3 3/4 x 5/8 in. (11.43 x 9.53 x 1.59 cm)
Credit LineGift of David Kamansky and Gerald Wheaton
Chakrasamvara is an important meditational deity of the heruka class who is invoked in rituals associated with the Highest Yoga Tantra. He can appear in several different forms. This blue-skinned form has one head, four faces, twelve arms, and two legs. Each face has three eyes and wears a fierce expression. His body is clothed with an elephant-skin cloak and a tiger-skin loincloth. His twelve hands hold a variety of tantric weapons and ritual implements that he uses to destroy obstacles and illusions. His feet trample the demons Bhairava and Kalaratri. He stands in yab-yum embrace with his consort Vajravarahi, whose hands hold a ritual knife and a skull cup filled with blood. For Gelug practitioners, in particular, Chakrasamvara and his consort symbolize the perfect union of method and wisdom.