The Indian Buddhist Iconography

by Benoytosh Bhattachacharyya | 1958 | ISBN-10: 8173053138 | ISBN-13: 9788173053139

This page contains an iconography image of Padmanarteshvara (Padmanartteshvara) and represents figure 110-112 of the book Indian Buddhist Iconography, based on extracts of the Sadhanamala English translation. These plates and illustrations represent either photographs of sculptures or line-drawing reproductions of paintings or other representations of Buddhist artwork.

Figure 110-112 - Padmanarteśvara (Padmanartteśvara)

Figure 110: Padmanarteśvara
Figure 111: Padmanarteśvara
Figure 112: Padmanarteśvara

(I) Eighteen-Armed Padmanarteśvara:

Three Sādhanas in the Sādhanamālā are devoted to the worship of this variant of Avalokiteśvara, all entirely different and describing three widely different forms of the deity. It is, therefore, necessary that all the three Dhyānas should be quoted and translated. There is no difficulty in taking the three to refer to Padmanarteśvara, because all doubt is set at rest by the fact that the Mantra, where mentioned, is in all cases the same, and that the Sādhanas always designate him as Padmanarteśvara.

Images of Padmanarteśvara are rare in India. Fig. 110 illustrates one good example from Nepal.

The Āsana prescribed in the Sādhana is the Ardhaparyaṅka. This Āsana may have two varieties; the ordinary, which is also called the Mahārājalīlā, as in the cases of Vāgīśvara and Siṃhanāda, and the dancing variety, (ardhaparyaṅkena nāṭyastha) as in the cases of Heruka,
Vajravārāhī and others. As the word ‘nartteśvara’ means the “God of dance” or the “God in a dancing attitude” the Āsana of Padmananteśvara may be taken as the dancing variety of Ardhaparyaṅka, and this is borne out by the fact that the Nepal image illustrated in Fig. 110 shows the god in this particular attitude. This image hails from the Sarasvatīsthāna or the Mañjuśrī Hill at Svayambhūkṣetra in Nepal. Though the god is here represented with only two of the companion deities, yet the principal figure corresponds in all details, to the description given in the Sādhanamālā.

One statuette of this god is found in China. This Chinese statuette is illustrated in Fig. 111.

Face: one;
Arms: eighteen;
Āsana: dancing in ardaparyaṅka;
Symbol: double louts in all hands;

(II) Two-Armed Padmanarteśvara:

Another form of Padmanarteśvara is described in a second Sādhana.

The same Sādhana which contains the Dhyāna quoted above, gives a description of the Maṇḍala, and adds the information that the lotus on which the god sits has eight petals. The petals contain one goddess each. For instance, on the East petal there is Vilokinī, white in colour and carrying the red lotus. The South is occupied by Tārā of green colour, holding the Palāśa and the lotus flowers. Bhūriṇī is in the West, is yellow in complexion and carries the Cakra and the blue lotus. Bhṛkuṭī is in the North, with white colour holding the yellow lotus. In the North-East there is Padmavāsinī, who is yellow in colour and holds the red lotus. The South-East is occupied by Viśvapadmeśvarī, who is sky-coloured and holds the white lotus. The South-West is occupied by Viśvapadmā, who is white and carries the the black lotus. In the Norh-West there is Viśvavajrā of variegated colour holding the double lotus.

Fig. 112 illustrates a Nepalese drawing of the principal deity although it does not agree with the Sādhana in all details.

Colour: red;
Companion: Śakti;
Mudrā: sūcī;
Symbol: louts;
Vāhana: animal;