Tiered Offering Mandala of the Goddess of Wealth (Vasudhara)

Plate sized sculpture depicting seated deity, adorned with figures, filigree, and temples.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • Plate sized sculpture depicting seated deity, adorned with figures, filigree, and temples.

Date:

19th century

Artist:

Nepal

About this artwork

Vasudhara—the goddess from whom wealth (vasu), gems, abundance, and well-being flow (dhara)—presides at the center of this multitiered mandala (a graphic symbol of the universe). When a deity appears at the center of a mandala, it serves as a reminder to the devotee of the god’s presence in the cosmos, as well as to the fact that the god is the cosmos. Here the concept is expressed by a mandala of three concentric outer circles rising to the space of the square.

Identifiable by the pot of life-giving water in her lower-left hand and the gesture of boon granting (varadamudra) of her lower-right hand, Vasudhara also has traits that distinguish her as Nepalese: her six encircling arms and the graceful lalitasana pose, with one leg pendent and the other tucked beneath her. (In India and Tibet, she is often shown standing and with two arms.) The goddess’s complexion is depicted as golden in sculpture and yellow in painting, a symbol of her wealth-giving attributes. Vasudhara is especially popular with the Buddhist Newari people of the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal, who would probably have used an object such as this for rituals dedicated to the goddess in either a temple or the home.

On View

Asian Art, Gallery 140

Title

Tiered Offering Mandala of the Goddess of Wealth (Vasudhara)

Origin

Nepal

Date

1801–1900

Medium

Silver repoussé and gilt copper

Dimensions

8.9 × 33.0 cm (3 1/2 × 13 in.)

Credit Line

Russell Tyson Fund

Reference Number

1979.616

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 .

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