Mahasiddha, Virupa

The great Tantric master (mahasiddha) Virupa, who is said to have lived in the seventh century, became a wandering yogi after being an abbot of India’s greatest Buddhist monastery. The sculpture shows him seated with a raised hand forming a gesture of subjugation. This pose refers to one of Virupa’s famous acts, when he purportedly stopped the sun for three days so he could drink without interruption. This story emphasizes the magical abilities Virupa gained from tantric practices, which he transmitted to his students. The Sakya tradition traces many of its practices to this mahasiddha.

Geographic Origin
Copper alloy

H 8 x W 6 3/8 x D 4 5/8 in.

Rubin Museum of Art
C2003.15.5, HAR65219
Now on View