Vajrabhairava and Vajravetali

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Vajrabhairava and Vajravetali

The union of Vajrabhairava and Vajravetali symbolizes the integration of wisdom and compassion, the two main aspects of enlightenment in Vajrayana Buddhism. This union is central to certain tantric practices, where practitioners visualize themselves as these deities to cultivate the qualities they represent and ultimately attain liberation.

Vajrabhairava is depicted here in his wrathful form and is indeed terrifyingly awesome. He symbolizes the power to overcome obstacles and negative forces on the path to enlightenment. He has the ability to subdue and conquer ignorance and delusion with the force of wisdom. In this assembled casting he has 9 heads, 34 arms, and 16 legs as he is standing on animals, birds, and gods.

His consort, Vajravetali, is an emanation of enlightened wisdom in female form. She represents the embodiment of the transformative power of wisdom, which is essential for overcoming the obstacles to enlightenment. Vajravetali is often depicted as a youthful and beautiful goddess, adorned with ornaments symbolizing her enlightened qualities. Together, Vajrabhairava and Vajravetali represent the union of wisdom and skillful means, which are necessary for spiritual realization.

This artifact was reconsecrated under the auspices of the former owner. The casting is from the 1900s in Sino-Tibet. There is cold gold applied to the faces and pigmentation used on the embellishments of the crowns and flaming hair and halos. Small colored stones are used in several places. One bird has been replaced.

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Alloyed copper, gold, polychrome, turquoise


circa 1900-1930, Good condition with one piece replaced on the lotus throne platform.


11.5" H (29.2cm)
8" W (20.3 cm)
4.75" D (12cm)