Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Mahottara Heruka (Buddhist Deity) - (21 Faces)

ཆེ་མཆོག་ཧེ་རུ་ཀ། 嘿噜嘎 (八大法)
(item no. 100620)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Nyingma and Buddhist
Material Ground: Textile Image, Embroidery
Collection Publication: A Tale of Thangkas
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Wrathful

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Mahottara (Chemchog) the combined diety of the Eight Heruka 'Pronouncement' deities.

The early Nyingma Tradition had two principal systems of deity meditation: [1] the Peaceful & Wrathful Deities of the Guhyagarbha Tantra and [2] the Eight Pronouncement Heruka. Over time and with the rise of the 'Revealed Treasure' (Terma) teachings numerous [3] meditational forms of Padmasambhava grew in popularity essentially creating an additional third category of deity meditation types.

In the Nyingma (Old) Tradition the term Heruka (blood drinker) generally refers to any male-meditational deity, wrathful in appearance, typically with three faces, six arms, four legs, wings and a consort. There are eight famous Nyingma Heruka deities. Aside from those principal eight deities other deities with a semi-peaceful - semi-wrathful appearance, arising from specific Revealed Treasure Traditions, may also be referred to as Heruka.

Jeff Watt 5-2004 [2-2016]

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Textiles: Types & Topics Main Page
Buddhist Deity: Mahottara Heruka (9 & 21 Faces)
Publication: A Tale of Thangkas