Vaishravana (Tsam figure)

  • Сайтар сонсогчийн хөвүүн/Бисман тэнгэр/ Намсрай/ / Saitar sonsogčiin xöwüün/ Bisman tenger / Namsrai
  • Sayitur sonosuγči-yin köbegün / Bisman tngri/
  • rNam thos sras
  • Vaiśravaṇa
  • Tsam figure
  • begin 20th century
  • Wood
  • Height: not filled / Width: not filled / Depth: not filled
  • Collection: Hans Leder, Inv. Nr.: 74715
  • Weltmuseum Wien
  • © KHM mit MVK und ÖTM
Several small wooden figures depicting expressively characters of the Tsam dance ceremony (T. ´cham), one of the most important Buddhist festivities, form an extraordinary group within the Leder collections. Twelve figures are housed in the Weltmuseum Wien (the former Museum für Völkerkunde Wien).This figure represents Vaiśravaṇa. He is one of the four World Guards (Lokapāla) or the four Grand Kings. He is considered to be the Guardian of the North. Like the other World Guards, he wears an armoured coat of mail, boots and a golden mask with a crown decorated with five (lucky) jewels (the middle one of the five jewels on this figure has broken off). In his right hand he holds a victory standard, in the left a jewel-spewing mongoose. The latter symbolises wealth and abundance. His body and his garments are golden yellow. He is worshipped principally as a god of wealth. In the choreography of the Tsam he appears together with Gongor (Mong., Skt. Sitamahākāla). Both are regarded as peaceful deities whose role is to increase good fortune and riches. (Cf. Lang 2013: 68)
© M.-K. Lang
Vaishravana (Tsam figure)
/ Mongolia / begin 20th century / Weltmuseum Wien / © KHM mit MVK und ÖTM