Yab-Yum (Father-Mother)

The traditional Tibetan Buddhist Yab-yum (literally, “father-mother”) image of two deities in an overtly sexual posture is meant to be shocking, but not in the way one might suppose. A yab-yum icon is a meditational tool, one of many seemingly contradictory images of sex or death used to achieve the insight that leads to spiritual liberation. There are several types of yab-yum, each depicting a tantric deity (compassion) in sexual union with his consort. (wisdom), each with its own layers of additional symbolism. Like the Hindu Shatkona or the Taoist yin-yang, the image represents dual forces in union, which united, create a transcendent unity. Despite appearances, the yab-yum is not related in any way to sexual practices.

A typical rendering of the Yab-Yum; antique Tibetan Thangka

Related Symbols:

HexagramYin yangYab-Yum

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

veenaga March 22, 2012 at 10:30 am

IT RESEMBLES MORE THAT OF GANESHJI, WHICH IS THE UNION OF SPOUSES, TO BEGET NEW LIFE, TO PROTECT THE FUTURE, WHICH IS NOT IN OUR HANDS, BUT WHICH ID HIDDEN IN OUR DEEDS.

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