Female Buddhas — The Prajñs

Prajña means “wisdom”. Prajñaparamita means “Perfection of Wisdom” and is the name of a golden female Buddha. There are many female deities in Buddhism which embody the wisdom aspect of enlightenment. I’ve been exploring one particular set of 5 forms.

Painting: Akasadatesvari

Akasadatesvari (1998)
Gouache and silver pen on paper
High quality download

My first exploration consisted of a set of small watercolours embellished with silver pen, created in Tuscany in 1998: blue Locana, yellow Mamaki, red Pandaravasini, green Tara and white Akasadatesvari. As source material for the images I used a set of black and white line drawings by the artist Aloka. Since that time they've been an ongoing thread in my work, and I've found each figure to be an a rich source of inspiration.

Painting: Green Tara

Tara (1998)
Gouache and silver pen on paper

Painting: Pandaravasini

Pandaravasini (1998)
Gouache and gold pen on paper

I owe a debt of gratitude to Vessantara for his explorations and writings on these Buddhas. I'm very appreciative of his in depth development of the imagery and symbolism of the Prajñas. He shares some of his thoughts in a recent publication on Female Deities in Buddhism.

Painting: Locana

Locana (2003)
Acrylic on card on MDF
27cm x 38cm
See a larger image

Painting: Mamaki

Mamaki (2004–5)
Acrylic on Board