head of vajrapani in bronze probably from the province of Sichuan.
Second half of the twentieth century
bronze circled with hand-sewn leather.
Brocade of origin.
Probably a room designed as protection, explanation of the deity Vajrapani, protector of the historical Buddha below.
Size of the head; 72mm high by 37mm wide, by 25mm thick
Brocade dimension: 20cm
Total dimension: 27,20cm high
Total weight:84 grams.
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Vajrapāni is a compound word in Sanskrit in which "Vajra" means "diamond or lightning" and "pāni" means "in hand"
Vajrapani is one of the first bodhisattvas to appear in Mahayana Buddhism. He is the protector and guide of Gautama Buddha and stood up to symbolize the buddha's power.
Vajrapāni is widely represented in Buddhist iconography as one of the first three protective deities or bodhisattvas surrounding the Buddha. Each of them symbolizes one of the virtues of the Buddha: Manjushri manifests all the wisdom of the Buddhas, Avalokiteśvara manifests all the immense compassion of the Buddhas, and Vajrapāni protects Buddha and manifests all the power of the Buddhas.
Vajrapāni is one of the first Dharmapalas of Mahayana Buddhism and also appears as a deity in the Pali Canon of the Theravada school. He is revered in Shaolin Monastery, Tibetan Buddhism and Pure Land Buddhism (where he is known as Mahasthamaprapta and forms a triad with Amitābha and Avalokiteśvara). Manifestations of Vajrapāni can also be found in many Buddhist temples in Japan as Dharma protectors called Nio. Vajrapāni is also associated with Acala, revered as Fudō-Myōō in Japan, where he is revered as a vajra holder.
Vajrapāni's expression is wrathful, to generate "fear in the individual to relax his dogmatism".
In early Buddhist legends, Vajrapāni is a minor deity who accompanied Gautama during his career as a wandering beggar. In some texts, it is said to be a manifestation of Śakra, king of the trāyastriṃśa paradise of Buddhist and Hindu cosmology and god of rain as depicted in the idols of Gandharva. Like akra, it is said that he was present when Tathagata was born. As Vajrapāni, he was the god who helped Gautama escape from the palace at the time of his renunciation. When Sakyamuni returned from Kapilavastu, he is said to have taken eight forms of devas that escorted him.
Vajrapāni is considered a manifestation of Vajradhara and the "spiritual reflex", the Dhyani Bodhisattva of Akshobhya. At the popular level, Vajrapāni is the bodhisattva who represents the power of all Buddhas just as Avalokiteśvara represents their great compassion and Mañjuśrī their wisdom. He is called the Master of the Unfathomable Mysteries who sustains the truth even in the adversities of darkness and ignorance.
According to the Pañcaviṃsatisāhasrikā- and Aṣṭasāhasrikāprajñāpāramitā s, any bodhisattva on the path to Buddhahood is eligible for Vajrapāni's protection, making him invincible to any attack "by men or ghosts".
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