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Watch a slide show featuring five Vajracharyas Buddhist priests of Nepal, led by Manjushri Shriratna Bajracharya, officiating at the Sevenfold Supreme Offering ceremony (Saptavidhanuttara-puja) to set the devotee on the Buddha-path.
The Saptavidhanuttara-puja was commissioned by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and performed at the 17th-century urban monastery of Chhsuya Bahal, Kathmandu, on November 11, 2017
Grateful appreciation to the reverend Naresh Man Bajracharya for his instrumental role, and to the officiating Vajracharyas: Triratna Bajracharya, Bhimaratna Bajracharya, Manjushri Shriratna Bajracharya, Uttambajra Bajracharya, and Dashratna Bajracharya.
Photography by Sameer Tuladhar, asianart.com, Kathmandu, with special thanks to Ian Alsop. Slideshow: Crowns of the Vajra Masters
Gallery One | Gallery Two | Exhibition photos
The single most potent symbol of Buddhist ritual as performed in Nepal is the Vajracarya priest's crown. Five examples presented in this exhibition create a cosmic field into which viewers enter, encircled by paintings of ritual performance. The exhibition is occasioned by the recent acquisition of a superb early Vajracarya crown dating to the 13th or early 14th century; this is joined by an 18th-century crown already in the collection and two others recently discovered in the Department of Arms and Armor. Bronze and wooden ritual utensils, Nepalese cloth paintings, and archival photographs of ritual enactment complete the exhibition.