Chakrasamvara and Vajravarahi, late 18th century
China: Qing Dynasty, 1750-1799
Gilt bronze inlaid with gemstones and pigments
In this dramatic image, Chakrasamvara, whose name means “joined to the wheel of wisdom and bliss,” is locked in a sensual embrace with his spouse Vajravarahi. Their coupling, known as yab-yum, or “father-mother” posture, symbolizes the union of wisdom and compassion. Each of Chakrasamvara’s four faces has a fierce expression, a third eye and a skull tiara. In addition, he wears garlands of skulls and severed heads, and his 12 arms hold various attributes: a lasso and arrow, as well as a thunderbolt and bell in his principal hands, crossed in front of Vajravarahi. The other symbolic weapons, which were attached separately, have been lost over time.
The Norton Simon Art Museum
animatronic peacock clock in Hermitage Museum
'Maybe it’s impossible for a man like you to understand. But having a respect for my life, a desire for freedom, and an unyielding love for that belief means I can see past any doubts I may have. Putting my life on the line is not just the only thing I can do, Dom. It’s the right thing.'