Mandala of Dorje Phurba
- mid-18th century
- Opaque watercolor on cotton with silk border
- image: 31 x 22-1/2 in. (78.7 x 57.2 cm); mount: 60-1/2 x 37-1/4 in. (153.7 x 94.6 cm)
- Credit Line:
- Norton Simon Art Foundation
- Accession Number:
- © Norton Simon Art Foundation
A mandala is a symbolic map representing the perfected universe of a Buddhist deity. This particular mandala is dedicated to the wrathful deity Dorje Phurba, who is the personification of a phurbu or ritual dagger. A large retinue of protective and attendant deities with animal and human heads radiate around the central figure of Dorje Phurba, who appears in the innermost triangle of the painting embracing his consort. Five seated figures appear across the top of the painting, with Padmasambhava, the Indian mystic who brought Buddhism to Tibet, in the center, flanked by Indian and Tibetan monks. At the bottom of the painting is an offering table with three blood-filled skull cups and gems. Two additional wrathful deities appear in the two lower corners, Vajrapani on the left and Vajraheruka on the right.
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