Buddhist Goddess Identification

Mon May 8 17:21:14 UTC 2000

> The goddess appears to be mAmakI, a goddess who is the consort of
> Buddha Aksobhya in a number of Tantras such as the Hevajra; the word
> the right is in fact her name.

I agree about the identification but would just like to add that
Mamaki was not always associated with Aksobhya.  She is probably one
of the dozens of Buddhist goddesses who had independent origins and
were later incorporated in Buddhist tantric ritual and iconography.
In the earlier tantras (kriyaa & caryaa) she is still features more as
a "stand-alone" goddess although she is also mentioned as the consort
of Vajrapani and not Aksobhya (the Tathagatas not having consorts at
this stage).

The Maha-vairocana-tantra mentions that she holds a three-pronged
vajra in her hand as her cihna.  There does not seem to be one visible
in the photo -- but there might have been something originally in her
left hand that has been lost.  Pity because it might have helped
precise identification and help with dating.

What is the provenance of this piece ?  Looks similar to material
found in Orissa, not that that means anything.

Best wishes,
Stephen Hodge

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