Vajrasadhu is a protector of the Buddhist teachings and of practitioners in the Kagyü and Nyingma lineages of Tibetan Buddhism to which the artist belonged.
He is a lokapala, a class of worldly protectors, often charged with guarding specific places. They are often dressed in armour, as Vajrasadhu is in this rendition of him. He lives in a castle made of a black crystaline rock. Chögyam Trungpa particularly associated this protector with the international headquarters that he established in Boulder, Colorado. It is thought that this was because of the closeness to the Rocky Mountains, a familiar setting for a protector like Vajrasadhu, who traditionally dwells in rocky, mountainous places. Later he was also made the protector of the headquarters in Halifax, Nova Scotia, as well as in Marburg, Germany. For many years, the original of this painting of Vajrasadhu hung in the central shrine room in Boulder, and an invocation of this protector, written by Trungpa Rinpoche, is chanted by practitioners in each of these centres.
Printed on uncoated archival-quality paper.
Image copyright Diana J. Mukpo. Please do not reproduce this image.