VajraPani, holder of the thunderbolt represents the energy of the enlightened mind and energy that breaks through illusion. VajraPani is a ferocious looking protector deity. He is said to devour ghosts. He holds a Vajra, diamond thunderbolt to cut through obscurations and he holds a hook to catch aspirants who loose their way or fall into darkness. VajraPani is shown dancing wildly within a halo of flames, which represent transformation. He cuts through the darkness of delusion.
VajraPani’s form can seem scary or demonic from a Western mindset. In fact, I have seen him labeled as a demon in art exhibits where, clearly the curator did not understand. He is not a demon but a protector who is said to devour hungry ghost and defends practitioners. I was explaining this to a former high school student. I told him he looks scary but actually, he is a really good guy. The student said, “Oh, like the Hulk!” Yes, big and scary but friend of yogis and meditators.
I painstakingly carved a large Mokuhanga woodblock and then hand printed onto Japanese paper, with Sumi ink. Mokuhanga is a traditional Japanese woodcarving and printing technique. It is labor-intensive with hand carving and hand rubbing the prints using watercolor inks. I then hand-painted this woodblockprint making it one of a kind.
Title: VajraPani with conch shells
Artist: Faith Stone
Size: 22x28 inches
Medium: Mokuhanga woodblock hand rubbed onto mulberry paper