Joy of Museums

Exploring Museums, Art & Historic Sites

Vajradhara and Prajnaparamita (Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore)

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

Vajradhara and Prajna

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:

Vajradhara and Prajna

  • 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

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

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Photo Credit: JOM