Yama (Sanskrit: यम) or Yamarāja (यमराज) is the god of death, belonging to an early stratum of Vedic mythology. In Sanskrit, his name can be interpreted to mean "twin". In the Zend-Avesta he is called "Yima". According to the Vishnu Purana, Yama is the son of the sungod Surya and of Sanjna, the daughter of Visvakarman, sometimes called "Usha". He is the brother of the current Manu Vaivasvatha and of his older sister Yami, which H. H. Wilson indicates to mean the Yamuna river. According to Harivamsa Purana her name is Daya. In the Vedas, Yama is said to have been the first mortal who died. By virtue of precedence, he became the ruler of the departed, called "Lord of the Pitrs". There is a one-of-a-kind temple in Srivanchiyam, Tamil Nadu, India, dedicated to Yama.
Mentioned by the Buddha in the Pali canon, Yama subsequently entered Buddhist, Chinese, Tibetan, Korean, Vietnam, Japanese mythology as a wrathful god under various transliterations. (Wikipedia)
In East Asian mythology, Yama (Sanskrit: यम) is a dharmapala (wrathful god) said to judge the dead and preside over the Narakas ("Hells" or "Purgatories") and the cycle of rebirth.
Although based on the god Yama of the Hindu Vedas, the Buddhist Yama has developed different myths and different functions from the Hindu deity. He has also spread far more widely and is known in every country where Buddhism is practiced, including China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam. (Wikipedia)
Yamāntaka (Sanskrit: यमान्तक Yamāntaka or Vajrabhairava Tibetan: གཤིན་རྗེ་གཤེད་, རྡོ་རྗེ་འཇིགས་བྱེད།, Wylie: gshin rje gshed; rdo rje 'jigs byed; Japanese: 大威徳明王 Daitokumyōō; Chinese: 大威德金剛; pinyin: Dà Wēidé Jīngāng; Mongolian: Эрлэгийн Жаргагчи Erlig-jin Jarghagchi) is an iṣṭadevatā of the Anuttarayoga Tantra class popular within the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. Yamāntaka is seen as a wrathful manifestation of Mañjuśrī, the bodhisattva of wisdom, and in other contexts functions as a dharmapala.
Within Buddhism, "terminating death" is a quality of all buddhas as they have stopped the cycle of rebirth, samsara. Yamantaka, then, represents the goal of the Mahayana practitioner's journey to enlightenment, or the journey itself: in awakening, one adopts the practice of Yamāntaka – the practice of terminating death. (Wikipedia)
Yama the Lord of Death
He should be of dark color, resembling the rain-cloud, with two arms and a buffalo head, fire-colored eyes and sharp side-tusks. He stands on his buffalo mount, under which a body is seen lying. In his right hand he holds a danda, a skull-headed club. In his left, He holds a noose of rope (pasa).
www.flickr.com/PetWerewolf : "Yama is one of the dharmapalas, or protectors of Buddhist doctrine.
His fearsome appearance helps him to combat malevolent demons and other enemies of Buddhism...
Originally, Yama was a Hindu god. Like many other Hindu gods, he has been adopted and worshipped by the Buddhists, together with all his original functions.
A Buddhist sign on his abdomen, a chakra or wheel, which is a mark of Buddhist doctrine, shows that the statue is part of Buddhist religion."
Image source: photobucket.com
Yama is generally considered a wrathful deity.
Yamantaka from the 18th Century
Yamantaka is the wrathful emanation of Manjushri (Bodhisattva of wisdom) with 16 legs and 34 arms.
www.exoticindiaart.com : "To tame Yama, Manjushri adopted the same form, adding to it eight other faces and a multiple array of arms, each holding fearful and deadly weapons.
He further sprouted a number of legs, and surrounded himself with a vast host of terrifying beings.
To confront death, he thus manifested the form of death itself, magnified to infinity.
Death (Yama) saw himself endlessly mirrored back to himself, infinitely outnumbered by himself. Death was literally scared to death."
Image source: www.flickr.com
Yamantaka Vajrabhairav, Palace Museum, Beijing, China.
Manufactured in Qing Dynasty, bronze, 93 cm high, now held in Palace Museum, Beijing, China.
Vajrabhairava (Yamāntaka), The Mok Collection In Holland
Vajrabhairava, also called as Yamāntaka, was after the intervention of Manjushri in his form that Yama’s wrathful rampage was temporarily subdued. He is highly respected by Gelukpa School in Tibetan Buddhism.
The figure of Vajrabhairava is very complex among Tibetan Buddhist deities. According to Buddhist doctrine, he has nine heads, thirty four arms and sixteen feet. He is shown with nine heads--the principal one being the head of a buffalo standing for the Yama, the midst one of a Jina, symbolizing he is an incarnation of Amitabha, and the top one of Manjusriand The principal two hands embrace his consort, and the other hands respectively hold a bell, a vajra, a chopper, a sword, a water-jar, an arrow, a noose, an iron hook, a trident, an umbrella and a canopy. His sixteen legs specially stand on various beats, birds, eight Vaisravana and eight female Vidyā-rāja. He tramples in lunging to the left on a large number of various beings placed on a lotus pedestal with beaded borders. This statue, which is of delicate artistic characteristics, can be ranked as excellent work of Tibetan Buddhist sculptures.
Image source: commons.wikimedia.org
One of the Ten Kings of the Underworld
Painting on paper, 18.0 x 26.8 cm. Yarkhoto, 8th -9th century
Museum fur Indische Kunst (MIK III 6327 )
Apart from the richly painted miniatures found in the
Turfan oasis, which as we have seen are mostly from
Manichaean manuscripts, the site yielded two other
kinds of book illustration: wood blocks, which deal
with Buddhist themes and accompany texts in either
Chinese or Uighurian; and black-and-white or lightly
colored drawings relating to various texts, such as the
one which is the subject of this illustration and No.
135. (Next image)
As von Gabain (1973a) has established, the text here concerns the cult of Kshitigarbha, the bodhisattva who rescues repentant souls from hell, which was widespread in Central Asia. Dated not earlier than the eighth century A.D., the text is entitled The Ten Kings Institute the Seven. It tells how after death each person must appear before the tribunal of the ten underworld kings in succession, every seventh day before each of the first seven kings, before the next two kings after one hundred days and one year respectively, reaching the tenth king finally after three years.
As in an earthly court, the offenses of the deceased — the evil he has done and the good he has failed to do — are read out to him from a charge-sheet, that is, a scroll. He is berated by each of the Ten Kings, menaced by their myrmidons, locked in the pillory, and even tortured In view of this highly unenviable position, it is necessary — as the text enjoins again and again — for pious relatives to earn merit (punya) for him by copying sacred texts and . . . commissioning "pictures" or "sculptures." If succor is given to a dead person in this way, even the last of the Ten Kings will be inclined to show mercy. Kshitigarbha appears to him . . . and rescues him from this prison; indeed, he even escorts the deceased to Amitabha in his Western Paradise. (Gabain 1973a, pp. 48f)
Kshitigarbha in this text appears as the great savior, and seems to have had a special connection with the cult of the dead. Illustrated copies of the Central Asian text, made in Tun-huang in the tenth century, are evidence for the assertion that a whole series of drawings in Berlin's Turfan collection belongs to a work of this kind.
In the painting shown here we see a bearded man, one of the Ten Kings, sitting at a table. A label in the middle of his cap, from which a veil is suspended, bears the inscription "king" in Chinese. His wide-sleeved overgarment is Chinese; the undergarment is belted with a sash. The charge-sheet in the form of a scroll lies on the table in front of him. At the bottom left is the head of a small figure — one of the youths who, the text tells us, bring a pair of scales to weigh the good and bad deeds of the deceased against each other.
Lady in Waiting to One of the Ten Kings
Painting on paper, 12.6 x 2.8 cm. Toyok, 8th -9th century
Museum fur Indische Kunst (MIK III 47)
The retinue of each of the Ten Kings includes, we are
told, ladies in waiting of noble rank, of whom this is
one. She faces left, presumably looking toward her
underworld master. Her hair is piled up in an elaborate
coiffure tied with a reddish ribbon. She wears a red
undergarment, a yellow-and-brown dress with a panel
in blue silk, and a wide, reddish sash. Round her neck
is a simple chain. The costume of the ladies in waiting,
like that of the Ten Kings, is not Uighurian, nor is it
purely Chinese in style.
This kagamibuta is the colaborative effort
of two metal artists, each using a special technique
and each signing the piece. Emma Ō, the ruler of the underworld, is shown warning
against a life of dissipation.
The left side of the disk shows the reflection of a geisha in a mirror-a symbolic representation of the vanity and self-indulgence that leads to damnation. The work is simply incised, and the chiseled markings are stained black to stand out against the rest of the surface.
The figure of Emma Ō is .the more dramatic portion of the lid. This section was first hammered lightly from the reverse, creating a repoussé design, and alloys and other forms of inlay were then added to the surface.
The various colors-red for the face, black for the moustache and beard, and gray for the body and background - are the result of a pickling process that forms a skin on the surface of each inlaid alloy. (The formula of the pickling bath was a closely guarded secret and still remains unknown in the West.) The gold finish of the inside of the figure’s sleeve was applied by the mercury-oxidation method, in which gold and mercury are combined and then applied to the surface. When the treated area is heated, the mercury is oxidized, leaving the gold bonded to the surface.
Metal and ivory, diameter 1.9 inches. Nineteenth century. Signed on left: Tenmin; inlay and repoussé work signed on reverse: Ryuminsai and a kakihan (stylized signature). Rogers Fund, 1913,
Dancing Yama and his consort, Yama-guchi