A thangka depicting the Simhamukhi with her attendants


18th century, Mongolia

18世紀, 蒙古

Length: 91 cm, 35.8 inches

長: 91釐米

Width: 66.5 cm, 26.2 inches

寬: 66.5 釐米

Floating above a high-peaked mountainous landscape against the ultramarine ocean and sky is the ferocious figure of the lion-faced Simhamukhi, the wisdom Dakini, who overcomes negative energies. She stands in the pratyalidha stance, with her right leg bent inwards and her left foot trampling on a prostrating naked figure on top of a single lotus pedestal. The Dakini holds a blood-filled skull cup (Kapala) in her left hand and brandishes aloft a Vajra chopper (Vajrakatrika) in her right, while cradled in the crook of her left arm is the Khatvanga- a ritual staff. The wrathful goddess’s forehead is centred with a third eye, adorning her flame like hair is a beaded five-skull crown, her bulging hypnotic eyes stare at the viewer with a compelling intensity, while her open mouth exposes prominent canine teeth. The flayed skins of an elephant and a human are draped over her shoulders, her body further embellished with carved bone ornaments, a garland of freshly severed human heads, a sinuous snake, a ritual bone apron and a tiger skin draped over her back. The demonic goddess further more wears a floating heavenly scarf encircled by a potent ring of flames shaded from light yellow through orange to red.

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