Achala, King of the Wrathful Ones (previously identified as Vighnantaka), early 1200s.
Close ties between the Buddhists of the Central Asian Tangut Xia kingdom and Tibetan monasteries resulted in works of devotional art, such as this tangka, featuring a remover of obstacles.
The imagery has its roots in Nepal, where Vighnantaka was summoned by a powerful practitioner to defeat the Hindu god Ganesha, who was disturbing the proper performance of a tantric Buddhist ritual.
For this reason, Ganesha and his father Shiva are being trampled under the feet of Vighnantaka. Vighnantaka is an emanation of the Buddha Akshobhya, who is blue in colour and is invoked to aid in quelling anger.
This Buddha appears in his crown and as the central figure among the group of five transcendent Buddhas, who are fundamental in tantric Buddhism, depicted above the main image.
This rare Tangut tangka is one of few to survive from the period preceding the Mongol conquest of the region in 1227. Creator Ryusai (Shigeharu) Kunishige (Japanese). (Photo by Heritage Arts/Heritage Images via Getty Images)
Did you know that Achala is the central figure of homa rites, dedicated to burning away all delusions in Shinnyo Buddhism?
Achala, known as the “Immovable One”, was the first image enshrined by the founders of Shinnyo Buddhism.
During this period, the founders committed themselves to their practice completely and overcame many obstacles to correctly guide others.
Achala is a powerful figure representing the fierce determination and discipline that a practitioner needs to keep going when faced with obstacles.
He is usually depicted sitting atop a stone platform set against an aureole of flames.
His right hand wields a sword to cut through ignorance and delusion, while his left holds a lasso to entrap evil and prevent it from causing suffering.
He is biting his lower lip, exposing sharp fangs which—combined with the intense gaze of his eyes— display his fearless resolve.
Achala is the unshakable strength and purifying wisdom of enlightenment, and a link to the power that cuts through negativity and subdue hindrances.
Achala (Tib. མི་གཡོ་བ་, miyowa; Wyl. mi g.yo ba) is one of the ten wrathful kings and one of the main meditational deities of the Kadampa school.
Fudo (the Immovable One) is one of the powerful deities known as the Five Bright Kings in Japanese Buddhism and folk religion.
As a manifestation of the central cosmic Buddha Mahavairochana (Japanese: Dainichi), Fudo is believed to protect Buddhism and its true adherents.
Like all Bright Kings, Fudo assumes a frightening form, with a sword in his right hand and a rope in his left.
He sits in front of a swirling flame of fire, with which he purifies evil. The left section of the flame is a modern replacement.