Thangka Tibet Vajrapani
Hand painted on canvas
Size: approx. 110 x 90 cm
Size interior image: approx. 55 x 41 cm
Vajrapani with the Vajra symbol is the spiritual son of Dhyani-Buddha Akshobhya, the ancestor of the Vajra family. His spiritual mother is Mamaki. Vajrapani is also known as the rain god. It is said that when the Nagas (snake) appeared before the Buddha to hear his teachings, Tathagata instructed Vajrapani to protect them from the attacks of their deadly enemies, the Garudas, by deceiving and fighting the Garudas. Vajrapani took on a shape with a head, wings and claws like the Garudas themselves. Vajrapani is therefore considered the protector of the Nagas and the rain god. Buddhists from the north appeal to the rain when rain is needed or when it falls too abundantly. A representation of the Vajrapani is that in Garuda form, which is only one of many different forms of representation of the Vajrapani. When it is represented, the Vajrapani stands or sits, usually wearing a lotus with the family symbol of Vajra on it. Sometimes he holds the vajra against his chest with one of his hands.
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