Artist: Pema Dorje
Size: 152 x 102 mm // 6 x 4 inches
Samantabhadra, the ‘all good’ or ‘ever perfect’, is the primordial Buddha of the ancient Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, or the pure dharmakaya aspect from whom the highest tantric lineages arise. He is often depicted in a trinity with Vajrasattva and Garab Dorje, who represent the sambhogakaya and nirmanakaya aspects respectively. Samantabhadra is deep blue in colour, naked and unadorned, and he sits upon a moon disc and a lotus that rests upon an ornate lion throne, with his two hands resting upon his lap in the dhyana-mudra of meditation upon emptiness. His naked white consort, Samantabhadri (Tib: Kun-tu bZang-mo), sits in sexual union upon his lap, with her two legs wrapped around his waist, her two arms around his neck, and her long hair freely flowing into a single strand. Samantabhadra, as the male deity, represents the luminous or apparitional nature of the dharmakaya, and his female consort represents the emptiness or non-apparitional nature of the dharmakaya. Their union symbolises the non-duality of pure appearance and emptiness.
© text by Robert Beer