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Sculpture from Burma (Myanmar)
Sculpture from Cambodia
Sculpture from Indonesia
Sculpture from Thailand
Ceramics from Thailand
Ceramics from Vietnam
Indonesia, East Java; 12th - 13th century
Volcanic stone
H. 41 1/2 in. (105.4 cm)
Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art
Two forms of Vajrasattva were worshipped in Indonesia: Vajrasattva as the primordial Buddha, who is worshipped as the supreme Buddha in some sects, and Vajrasattva as one of a group of sixteen deities called Vajrabodhisattvas. These sixteen deities, whose names are all preceded by the word "vajra", surround, in groups of four, the four Directional Buddhas who each sit in the center of a peripheral circle around the inner circle of the Mandala of the Diamond Realm (Vajradhatu Mandala). The seated posture of this figure, with the right leg placed on the left thigh (sattvaparyanka), identifies it as one of the group of Vajrabodhisattvas and it may once have been grouped together with the other deities to form a monumental example of the mandala-based arrangements known from smaller bronze versions. Vajrasattva can be identified by the bell held in his right hand and by the vajra that is supported by a lotus held in his left hand. His protruding teeth show this to be one of the ferocious representations of the deity.
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