Vajrapani Bhutadamara (Tibetan: chung bu dul she chag na dor je.
English: the Vajra Holder, Subduer of Daemons).
Sanskrit: Vajrapani Tibetan: chag
na dor je
Dark blue in colour with one face and four hands, the first pair
perform the 'Daemon Subduing' mudra (hand gesture) at the heart. The
second pair of hands hold a vajra upraised in the right and a lasso
in the left. Very wrathful in appearance with large bulging eyes and
hair flowing upwards like flame he wears jewel and snake ornaments
and a lower garment of tiger skin. On the back of the white daemon
Aparajita - with four hands and an elephant head, he stands atop a
sun disc and multi-coloured lotus surrounded by the flames of
At the top center is the buddha Shakyamuni,
to the left the buddha of the past and to the right the bodhisattva
the buddha of the future. To the left is the bodhisattva Manjushri
and below is the Lama Tsongkhapa
the founder of the Gelugpa School. To the right is the bodhisattva
with four hands. Below that is Sakya
Pandita of the Sakya School.
At the bottom center inside a rainbow sphere is Guru Rinpoche, Padmasambhava,
founder of the Nyingma School, seated on a lotus flower. On the left
is Karmapa Yeshe Dorje (1676-1702) of the Kamtsang Kagyu wearing a
black hat and on the right Drikung Jikten Gonpo (17th century) of
the Drikungp Kagyu. At the left corner is the wealth deity Jambhala,
yellow in colour, with one face and two hands holding a bijapuraka
fruit and a mongoose.
In the right bottom corner is the deceased male individual for
whom the painting was commissioned. The small figure, wearing white
for purity is shown seated on a lotus indicating the wish of his
relatives that he be reborn in a Buddhist pureland such as the
Copper-coloured Mountain of Padmasambhava, or Sukhavati of Buddha
Amitabha. The central figure, Vajrapani, was either the Tutelary
Deity of the deceased or chosen as the subject on the advice of a
lama for the purpose of removing obstacles in the path of a better
rebirth. The gold paint used for the robes and ornaments is meant as
an offering on behalf of the deceased.
Vajrapani Bhutadamara is found in the Kriya, Carya and
Anuttarayoga tantras and the iconographic form represented here
indicates that it belongs to the two lower tantras. All the names of
the deities and lamas have been finely written with gold lettering.
Jeff Watt 5-98
In the 19th century Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, the great master of
the Rime (non-sectarian) movement propigated this particular form of
Vajrapani which had previously been only popular with the Sakyapa
school, amongst all the lineages. This painting seems to date from
the late 19th century before Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche passed away
M. Mokotoff 5-98