Hayagriva (Buddhist Deity) - Heruka (Eight Pronouncements)
(item no. 431)

Tibet

1800 - 1899

Nyingma Lineage

54.61x46.99cm (21.50x18.50in)

Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton

Collection of Rubin Museum of Art

(acc.# F1996.10.1)

 
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Hayagriva (Tibetan: tam drin, English: Horse Neck) from the Eight Sadhana Sections of Mahayoga Tantra.

Very wrathful, red in colour, with three faces, six hands and four legs, the right face is white and the left green. With three large round staring eyes and a cavernous mouth with sharp canine teeth and dark hair flowing upward. On top of the head are three small green horse heads. The first pair of hands hold a white lotus flower and a skullcup while embracing the consort. The second hold a vajra hook and sword and the last pair a stick and noose. Adorned with a crown of five dry skulls, earrings, gold and jewel ornaments, snakes entwined as jewelry and a tiger skin skirt, he is completely attired in wrathful charnel ground vestments and a set of vajra wings. The consort has one face and two hands, blue-black in colour, holding a skullcup in the left hand, adorned in wrathful attire and a leopard skin skirt. Standing with eight legs, the right bent and left straight, atop two corpses above a sun disc and multi-coloured lotus, Hayagriva dwells surrounded by the flames of pristine awareness.

At the top left is the buddha of long-life, Amitayus, red, with the two hands holding a long-life vase in the lap; adorned with silks and jewels. At the right is the protector of the northern direction, Vaishravana, with one face and two hands, holding a victory banner and a mongoose; riding a white snow lion.

"To the Dharma body of all conquerors of the Lotus Lineage, vajra body of the Dharma Lord Amitabha, in a raging great form, emanating from...Avalokiteshvara; homage to Hayagriva, neighing like a horse." (Nyingma Liturgical Text).

Arising from the Mahayoga division of the Inner Tantras, Hayagriva belongs to the set known as the Eight Sadhana Sections. From the two types of Buddhist teaching transmission, Transmitted Precepts and Revealed Treasure (terma), this form of Hayagriva belongs to the latter. Both forms were received, discovered and taught by Arya Nagarjuna. The Terma text was procured from a copper casket in the Shankarakuta stupa at the charnel ground of Sitavana near the present day Bodhgaya in Northern India.

Jeff Watt 10-98


View other items in:
Thematic Set
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery II
Tradition: Nyingma Deity Paintings
Buddhist Deity: Hayagriva (Kagye)
Buddhist Deity: Eight Pronouncement Heruka
Buddhist Deity: Hayagriva Main Page
Buddhist Deity: Hayagriva (Very Secret)



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Photographed Image Copyright © 2004 Rubin Museum of Art