The Joy of Museums

Finding Meaning in a Museum

Vajradhara and Prajnaparamita

Asian Civilisations Museum - Joy of Museums - Vajradhara and Prajna 2

This “Vajradhara and Prajnaparamita” shows Vajradhara in union with Prajnaparamita, who symbolizes wisdom. The Buddha sits in the meditation posture, with the female deity embracing him.

Their faces reflect harmony, their noses, lips, and chins touch in deep serenity. Their union represents the attainment of knowledge. Vajradhara is a form of the historical Buddha found in Esoteric Buddhism. This branch of Buddhism is also called Vajrayana or Tantric Buddhism.

Asian Civilisations Museum - Joy of Museums - Vajradhara and Prajna

Vajradhara means “holding a vajra or thunderbolt” which represents the highest state of enlightenment. In this statue you can see the Buddha holding a vajra and a bell with a vajra handle. Prajnaparamita holds a curved knife and skullcup.

Other South Asia and Islamic world highlights from the collection include:

Essential Facts:

  • Title:                 Vajradhara and Prajna
  • Dates:               14th or 15th Century
  • Provenience:  Nepal or Tibet
  • Materials:        Gilded Copper Alloy
  • Dimensions:    H: 22.8 cm
  • Museum:         Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore

~~~

“A child without education, is like a bird without wings.” Tibetan Proverb

~~~

_________________________________________________________________

Photo Credit: By GordonMakryllos (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons