A two-section gilt bronze standing statue of Yamantaka
18th century, Qing dynasty, Sino-Tibet
18世紀, 清朝, 漢藏
Height: 34.5 cm Width: 28.5 cm
高: 34.5 釐米 寬: 28.5釐米
The ferocious Dhamapala Yamantaka stands in pratyalidhasana, with the left leg fully thrust to the side and the right leg bent, standing astride a recumbent bull whose back is decorated with double beads in a quatrefoil pattern summoned by a finial. The bull is ferociously depicted with open mouth revealing his tongue and teeth, he lies upon the prostrate corps of a woman, and the whole group in turn rest upon an oval-shaped single pedestal base with beaded borders.
Yamantaka’s buffalo head looks down with a demonic expression and open mouth revealing fanged teeth, his forehead surmounted by a tiara of five skulls shielding his two horns and wild flaming red hair at the base of which is a half-Vajra. His left hand displays the Karana mudra to expel evil spirits; the other hand also held up would have held a now missing attribute. The body is naked except for the adornment of beaded jewellery, a billowing heavenly scarf (天衣tianyi), and a garland of severed human heads, with further bejewelled armlets, bracelets, anklets and an apron allinset with turquoises, corals and lapis lazuli.
Yamantaka is the conqueror of the demon of death, Yama, as well as one of the eight Dharmapalas, the fiery defenders of Dharma (Buddha’s teachings), and also a wrathful manifestations of the Bodhisattvas, who help disciples to breakthrough in meditation and attain self-transformation. The Dharmapalas can be recognised by their red hair, flaming aureoles and crowns consisting of five skulls.
‘Indo-Tibetan Bronzes- Ulrich Von Schroeder’, Visual Dharma Publications Ltd, Hong Kong 1981, figure 157E, p.550