Skip to Content
Today Open today 10–11 members | 11–5 public

Vajradhara Buddha Seated Holding a Thunderbolt (Vajra) and Bell (Ghanta)

A work made of silver and semiprecious stones.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

Image actions

  • A work made of silver and semiprecious stones.


15th century


Southern Tibet

About this artwork

This silver figure, though adorned like a bodhisattva, is more likely the Buddha Vajradhara. It probably served as the center of a three-dimensional mandala. The Buddha sits in the meditation posture while holding a vajra (thunderbolt) and bell in a gesture known as vajrahumkara (the adamantine sound). Certain sects of Himalayan Buddhism consider Vajradhara the creator and supreme power. He is the originator of the Five Transcendental Buddhas and embodies shunyata (voidness).


Currently Off View


Arts of Asia


Vajradhara Buddha Seated Holding a Thunderbolt (Vajra) and Bell (Ghanta)


Southern Tibet (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Silver and semiprecious stones


16.5 × 10 × 7.6 cm (6 1/2 × 3 15/16 × 3 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Marilynn B. Alsdorf

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

Learn more.

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions