The deity embracing Vajranairatma; two figures at center in embrace; back figure has many faces, arms and legs and is wearing a large headdress; front figure has her back to the viewer with her PL leg wrapped around other figure and her arms around his neck; flat, black metal base

Hevajra and Nairatmaya, 12-13th century

Unknown artist, expand_more

Black Chloriteexpand_more

Anonymous giftexpand_more  2021.36

This sculpture depicts the male Buddhist deity Hevajra in sexual embrace with the female deity Nairatmaya. While wrathful in appearance, he symbolizes compassion, and she wisdom: their union transcends opposites and dissolves into the great bliss of enlightenment. As practitioners of Vajrayana Buddhism meditated on this image, the soul was awakened to a higher level of consciousness, far from the everyday activities of mundane human existence.

In this vigorous and crisp visualization, one sees the Buddhist deities astride the bodies of Brahmanical (Hindu) deities, a reference to the lively spiritual debates held at monastic centers of Northeast India.

Details
Title
Hevajra and Nairatmaya
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2021.36
Curator Approved

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The deity embracing Vajranairatma; two figures at center in embrace; back figure has many faces, arms and legs and is wearing a large headdress; front figure has her back to the viewer with her PL leg wrapped around other figure and her arms around his neck; flat, black metal base
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