Nrityanath Avalokiteshvara

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Shree Nrityanath Avalokiteshvara (Lokeshvara) and often known as Padmanarteshvara, is notably an elegant aspect among the 108 lokeshwor in the dance gesture. The word Nrityanath means ‘Lord of the Dance’ and appears with either two, eight, ten or even eighteen arms.

Padmanarteshvara is practiced as the head of one of the six mandalas taught in the Sarvabuddhasamayoga Dakinijalasamvara Tantra. It is in this same tantra that teachings on the Buddhist ganachakra or tantric feast-gather practice were first codified.

Painting Description:

Size: 20cm x 30cm

In this painting, Nrityanath is seen white and joyously dancing upon the white moon disc on the lotus pedestal. The common trait of draping an antelope skin over the different forms of Avalokiteshvara’s left shoulder can also be witnessed here.

It is a very rare and interesting image of Avalokiteshvara. He wears the eight golden ornaments of a five-jewel crown; bracelets, armlets, and anklets: a belt strung with pearl loops, and the traditional Newar ornaments of a neck-choker, two small necklaces, and a chained silver medallion.

Among the various things that he is holding, the goad (in his upper left hand) is used to remove obstacles, a bell also in his left hand represents purity and compassion, a rosary signifies our pursuit for knowledge should be continuous. Also, a staff, a lotus (since he is the Lotus lord of dance), and also bow and arrow are present. His upper right arm is raised over his head in a gesture of snapping his fingers while resting his right foot on his left hand.