Stupas in Orissa (Study)

by Meenakshi Chauley | 2013 | 109,845 words

This study examines the Stupas and Votive Stupas in Odisha or Orissa (Eastern India).—In this thesis an attempt has been made to trace the historicity of Buddhism in Odisha on the basis of the architectural development of the Stupa architecture. Archaeological evidence obtained from excavated sites dates such structures as early as third-second cen...

Emanations of Aksobhya


Quite a large number of deities emanates from the Dhyani-Buddha Aksobhya. Blue colour of Aksobhya symbolises the terrible deities, who in general are terrible in character both in deed and in physical appearance with distorted face, pointed tooth, three blood-shot eyes, protruding tongue, garland of skulls, tiger-skin and ornaments of snake. With the exception of Jambhala: the god of wealth.


Chandrasona is also known as Mahachandarosona, Candamaharosana and Achala. The god is depicted one-faced with two-arms and is squint-eyed, his face is terrible with bare fangs. He has a jewelled head-dress with a munda-mala around it and the effigy of Aksobhya on it, and is shown biting his lips. He holds a sword with his right arm and the noose round the raised index finger against the chest in the left. His upavita consists of a white snake and is decked with jewels. His bend left leg touches the ground while the right is slightly raised (Plate-CXLII).


Heruka is an important deity of Buddhist pantheon. His Sakti is Nairatmaya; along with her he is known to have left his impact on god concept in Tantrayana Buddhism. It is said that Sunya personified Lokesvara the shape of Heuka when male and that of Nairatmaya when female.

Sadhana number 241-242,244-245 describes the iconography and rituals of Heruka when single. He is to have one face, two hands with vajra in right and kapala full of blood in left. A khatvanga (staff with a human skull at the top) passes through the crook of his left arm which is decorated with flattering banners (Plate-CXXXVIII). His body besmeared in ash is to be clad in human skin (tiger skin according to sadhana-245). He dances in ardhaparyanka pose over corpse. He is to have a garland of several human heads and to have ornaments of bone bedecking his body. His face bears a terrific mien with bare fangs blood shot round eyes and brown hair raising-up in flame like curls. On his crest he is to have Aksobhya and in addition five skulls. He is said to confer Buddha hood on his worshippers and to protect the world from evil beings.

Sadhana-243 describes a three faced from of Heruka in embrace with his Prajana, Sadhana248 describes a four faced from in embraced with Prajana, with four other dakinis hovering on four sides eager for embrace with the god.


In Mahayana pantheon Vajrasattava is considered as the spiritual son of Akshobhya and simultaneously the chief of the five Dhyani-Buddhas (Getty 1928:5-6). Vajrasattava is represented seated on a lotus in vajraparyankasana, in his right hand he holds a vajra close to his chest and in his left hand he holds a ghanta resting on his thigh (Plate-CXXXII

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