Hevajra Mandala
On View In:
Gallery 212
Artist:   Artist Unknown  
Title:   Hevajra Mandala  
Date:   c. 1250  
Medium:   Ink and color on sized cotton  
Dimensions:   16 5/16 x 15 1/2 in. (41.43 x 39.37 cm) (image)  
Credit Line:   Gift of Ruth and Bruce Dayton  
Location:   Gallery 212  

In the Buddhist tradition, mandalas are objects of meditation whose purpose is to transform our ordinary perception of the world into a pure perception of the Buddha nature. This rare, brilliantly colored, intricately painted early mandala is structured in the classic "palace architecture" composition with a central deity housed in a circle or flower-shaped center placed within a square, multiwalled palace, surrounded in turn by a large multitiered circle. Twenty additional deities are presented within the square with other deities and monks arranged in rows along the top and bottom of the scroll. Painted around 1250 for the Sakya order, this type of mandala is associated with yoga tantr, a form of Esoteric Buddhism. Generally, these mandalas are dedicated to fierce Buddha deities such as Hevajra or Parmasukha-Chakrashamvra, who are often depicted in union with their counterparts. Here the central Hevajra has a white body and is shown embracing his consort Vajranaratmya (Diamond Selflessness).

Object Description  
Classification:   Paintings  
Physical Description:   white-skinned male figure and red-skinned female figure embracing in central circle with 20 figures surrounding them inside a circle and a square; 9 seated figures at top and bottom edge; multicolored pigments; leather hanging cord  
Creation Place:   Asia, Western Tibet, , ,  
Accession #:   2000.150.2  
Owner:   The Minneapolis Institute of Arts