A “yab-yum” figure contains both male and female aspects of a deity in a position of copulation. Yab-yum in Tibetan literally means “father-mother” and symbolizes union and sexual polarity that can be realized as a mystical experience within one’s own body. Sacred Tantric practices are thought to lead to the rapid development of mind by using the experience of bliss, non-duality and ecstasy while in communion with ones consort.
The deity is surrounded by dancing flames. It has blue and green wings and powerful spiritual implements in each outstretched hand. He wears a red silk brocade and a black pelt with orange stripes. Around the waist hangs a sacrament of human heads and skulls. He holds a ritual knife and appears to be ready to stab his female counterpart, killing off the feminine aspect within himself.
Painted on top of a white lotus throne, this pair also represents the primordial (or mystical) union of wisdom and compassion. The pair is reflected in a pond created by the downpour of silver droplets. This reminds us to reflect upon ourselves even when we are with our significant others because they are a reflection of our inner selves.
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