24 x 36 inches
Edition of 100
Signed and Numbered
About the artwork.
The main figure in this piece is named Yamantaka. He is the destroyer of death in some versions of Hinduism and Buddhism. Yama was originally a monk who had been meditating for so many lives and was finally at the edge of enlightenment. One day, while seated in meditating a group of thieves who had recently stolen a cow entered his cave to escape the authorities. The monk pleaded with them to leave him alive for only a few minutes until he became enlightened. After that, they were welcome to kill him. The bandits refused this request and instead chopped his head off. Yama then flew into a livid murderous rage and cut off the head of the stolen cow and the heads of bandits and put them on his neck as his own. He then left the cave having become the lord of death and began killing everyone he encountered. The gods watched the death toll rise and seeing this destruction went to Shiva to ask for help. Shiva then assumed the same form as Yama to confront him. He had to become death to kill death and since Shiva is infinitely more powerful, he defeated Yama in an instant. In some Buddhist sects Yama is the first deity that we encounter at death and after the 40 some days of Bardo we encounter Yamantaka when death comes to an end and we’re conceived for our next life.
The tattoos that cover the body of Yamantaka are made from original drawings that were in the “Age of Enlightenment” series in Ravi’s recent exhibition at Hashimoto Contemporary.