The Powerhouse acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the ancestral homelands upon which our museums are situated. We respect their Elders, past, present and future and recognise their continuous connection to Country.
2014/132/24 Figure, of Yama Dharmaraja, bronze, Tibet, 1700s. Click to enlarge.

Yama Dharmaraja firgure from Tibet

Yama Dharmaraja was the Lord of Death in ancient Indian mythology but was adopted into the Buddhist pantheon as a Dharma (learning) protector. This fearsome god (known as the Outer or External form) is therefore one of the major protectors of Buddhist practice who confronts outer obstacles and protects practitioners (Sangha) from misfortune. The bull upon which he stands is ravaging the body of ignorant life beneath him.

This figure forms part of the collection of Buddhist figures and ritual …


Object No.


Object Statement

Figure, of Yama Dharmaraja, bronze, Tibet, 1700s

Physical Description

A Tibetan gilt-bronze figure, with stone inlays, of Yama Dharmaraja. He he has the head of a bull, flaming hair painted red, his arms outspread. He steps to the right on a bull which in turn is on top of a recumbent human figure. His missing consort would have been mounted in the small hole on the bull's back.


no marks



175 mm


125 mm


65 mm




An elaborate figure of Yama Dharmaraja, cast in bronze. The preferred mode for producing small statues in Tibet was the lost wax (cire perdue) method in which a detailed wax sculpture is formed over a core. When completed, the wax is covered with an outer mold, the wax is melted out and the metal poured into the mold. The arms, the stand and pedestal etc were made separately and fastened together with metal fixtures. This figure has beenn gilded and inset with stones and the hair has been painted red. The missing consort of Yama Dharmaraja would have been mounted in the small hole on the bull's back.

Originally consecrated, the bronze has been opened and resealed. Tibet, 1700s.



A figure of Yama Dharmaraja, made as a portable devotional image. Tibet, 1700s.

Purchased by the donor, Alastair Morrison, from Parkham Place Gallery, Sydney, May 2000.


Credit Line

Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program by Alastair Morrison, 2005

Acquisition Date

16 November 2014

Cite this Object


Yama Dharmaraja firgure from Tibet 2022, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 29 November 2022, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Yama Dharmaraja firgure from Tibet |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=29 November 2022 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}