Opaque watercolor on cloth
H: 87.7 W: 78.0 cm
Buddhist adepts visualize the mandala as a three-dimensional palace. During meditation, practitioners imagine themselves traversing macabre cremation grounds and then passing through a ring of flames to enter the square of the mandala-palace. After meditating upon the deities in the four outer circles, they reach the principal deity dwelling in the mandala's center. The red, yellow, and blue forms of the female deity Varahi appear in three of the squares, and the male deity Vajra-Humkara, in union with his consort, appears in this thangka's fourth innermost shrine.