Sarvavid Vairochana Buddha
DateEarly 20th century
MediumPigment on sized cloth
DimensionsSupport : 18 x 10 9/16 in. (45.72 x 26.83 cm)
Mat : 20 x 16 in. (50.8 x 40.64 cm)
Image : 9.9 x 7 1/2 in. (25.24 x 18.89 cm)
Credit LineHope College Collection
Vairochana Buddha, another of the five Celestial Buddhas, is regarded as the universal form of Shakyamuni Buddha. Sarvavid Vairochana is a specific tantric form of Vairochana who is believed by followers of the Vajrayana tradition to represent the totality of all tantric teachings. Sarvavid Vairochana has been revered as a meditational deity in Mongolian Buddhism since the 18th century. He has one head with four faces and is typically portrayed sitting cross-legged in a meditation position, holding a wheel emblem in his lap to symbolize the Buddha’s teachings. His body and head are adorned with fine clothing and jewelry to signify his divine status, while his brilliant white skin signifies his pure consciousness. The vivid colors and elaborate design of this painting show strong influences from Chinese Buddhist art, indicating that it may have been produced by a workshop in what is now the Chinese province of Inner Mongolia.