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Volume 8 – Number 7

Jul 1977

Sarawak Primeval

Memories of Japan

Yabyum Bronzes

Conquering Opium Country

Kabul’s Buzkashi

Cover. An 18th-century Tantric Buddhist icon of the yid-dam, or “guardian” and “Tutelary” class of deities from the Philip Goldman Collection, London, courtesy of the Werner forman Archive. Every Tantric Buddhist lama chooses a yid-dam or gets one from his mentor. A favorite guardian deity is the “Eternal Thunderbolt,” the Buddha Hevajra in yabyum union (mystic, nirvana-leading sexual congress) with his consort, Vajra-yogini. The male, yab, stands for the dynamic of Buddhist compassion; the female, yum, as the passive voidness of wisdom.

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