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Mandala of Chakrasamvara
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Mandala of Chakrasamvara

Description Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description This mandala—the sacred cosmos over which a deity or Buddha presides—represents the universe of Chakrasamvara, a semi-wrathful Buddha, who is represented in dark blue at the center, united with his female partner, the red Vajravarahi. Four dakinis (fierce goddesses) attend the pair, alternating with four ritual vases to occupy the eight petals of a central lotus. Beyond a narrow ring of "vajras" protecting this lotus and its deities are the square walls of Chakrasamvara’s palace, with four T-shaped entrances marked by elaborate gateways. Additional concentric circles surround the palace: Multicolored lotus petals and flames purify the enclosed space, while another ring of indestructible "vajras" between them adds further protection. The outermost circle contains the eight great cemeteries, each one marked by a dome-shaped "stupa," a tree, predatory animals, and dismembered body parts. Each is also occupied by divinities and tantric adepts, for such cemeteries serve as sites for the practice of tantric rituals associated with wrathful and semi-wrathful deities like Chakrasamvara.
  • Desire and Devotion: Art from India, Nepal, and Tibet in the John and Berthe Ford Collection. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara; Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque; Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham; Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong. 2001-2003.
  • Goddess Divine Energy. Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. 2006-2007.
Provenance Gautam Rana, Kathmandu, Nepal; purchased by John and Berthe Ford, Baltimore, January 1997.
Credit Promised gift of John and Berthe Ford

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ca. 1400
paint on cotton
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
H: 21 3/4 x W: 22 1/4 in. (55.25 x 56.5 cm); Framed H: 43 3/4 × W: 30 3/4 × D: 2 5/8 in. (111.13 × 78.11 × 6.67 cm)


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