Vajrabhairava: The Diamond Terrifier
Vajrabhairava literally translates "The Diamond Terrifier." Another name for him is Yamantaka, or "The Opponent of Death." Meditation upon this mandala is said to terrify and chase away the three kinds of death: outer, inner, and secret. The first is ordinary premature death caused by obstacles; inner death refers to the delusions and spiritual distortions, which kill happiness for self and others; and secret death refers to blockages in the subtle energy channels of the body, which produce an according mental distortion.
This tangka was also a sacred posession of the previous 13th Dalai Lama, who sealed the painting on the back side of the canvas with his handprints in saffron dye.
Text excerpted from the exhibition catalog written by Glenn Mullin and Andy Weber.
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