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Guhyasamaja with Consort Sparshavajra or Adhiprajna

Guhyasamaja, associated with the Buddha Akshobhya, which is the most ancient and fundamental Tantra of Vajrayana tradition of Buddhism. Padmavajra in his work Guhyasiddhi cites it under the name of Shrisamaja as the most authoritative. In this all the components of the Five Tathagathas, mudra, kula, prajna, their colors and directions, form and meaning were clearly systematized.

Akshobhyavajra is dark blue in color as distinct from the light blue complexion of his consort, with three faces, which are white, dark blue and red, and six arms. The original hands crossed against the breast hold a vajra and ghanta which express phenomenal polarities. They are in the vajra humkara mudra, and at the same time hold the consort (prajna) in tight embrace. The vajra humkara mudra symbolizes steadfast, unshakeable exertion. The upper right and left hands hold a chakra (wheel) and flaming jewel (Mani), respectively. The two lower hands hold a lotus and sword of wisdom (Prajna Khadga).

The consort Adhiprajna is consubstantiated with Guhyasamaja, whom she encircles, and possesses the same attributes. Adhiprajna has three faces: red, light blue, and white. Her original hands embrace the yab at the back, the upper hands hold the flaming jewel (mani) and wheel (chakra), while the lower ones carry the sword of wisdom (Prajna Khadga) and lotus. Both the deities are adorned with the costumes and ornaments of a Bodhisattva.

Guhyasamaja Akshobhyavajra Yab Yum are depicted separately and in the mandala of 32 deities. According to the Guhyasamaja - Mahakalparaja, the central deity of the mandala of Akshobhyavajra is Vajradhara, the cosmic consciousness, and spotless brightness, which owing to its inner law, must expand into manifold universe, gradually disintegrating in the process, but finally returning to initial unity. Vajradhara in the mandala is Akshobhyavajra who multiplies and irradiates in five ways, symbolically arranged in a mandala with a centre and four cardinal points.

In Tibet, Akshobhyavajra is particularly favoured by the Geluk Order, most likely for the antiquity of his texts. The Guhyasamaja Tantra, translated in the 8th century A.D., was one of the first Sanskrit works to be translated into Tibet. The present painting is very much significant for the secret tantric sadhana. The composition, color combination and background of the painting are brilliant.

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