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.
- Tiered Offering Mandala of the Goddess of Wealth (Vasudhara)
- Silver repoussé and gilt copper
- 8.9 × 33.0 cm (3 1/2 × 13 in.)
- Russell Tyson Fund