Ushnishavijaya ("Victorious Crown Ornament") is one of the three long-life deities, the other two being Amitayus and White Tara. She is often invoked in old age ceremonies such as the Bhimaratha ritual practiced by the Newari, in which people over the age of seventy-seven are prepared for afterlife in the Western Paradise.
In 1938, a 21-year old Erich Graef embarked on a business trip to Batavia, the capital city of Indonesia (now known as Jakarta). As the Second World War broke out, Graef was taken prisoner by the Dutch colonialists in Indonesia and sent to the Dehradun Central Interment Camp in India. There he joined now-famous inmates Heinrich Harrer and Peter Aufschnaiter, the Austrian mountaineers whose story was popularized through Harrer's book and later the 1997 film, Seven Years in Tibet. Graef, Harrer and Aufschnaiter made several unsuccessful attempts to escape together from Dehradun. In 1944, Harrer and Aufschnaiter managed to escape successfully to Tibet, while Graef remained at Dehradun until 1947. After a brief stay in Germany, Graef returned to Pakistan and India, where he established Bayer India, and remained until 1968.
Graef had become fascinated with Tibetan art in his discussions with Harrer.