Himalayan Art Resources

Indian Adept: Virupa Main Page

Virupa Main Page | Virupa Outline | Virupa Forms Outline

Database Search: All Images | Painting | Sculpture

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Virupa Definition (below)
- Single painting or sculpture (not part of a set)
- Single painting, Virupa and Lamdre Lineage Teachers
- Single painting, Virupa and Eighty-four Mahasiddhas
- Part of a lineage painting or lineage sculpture set
- Part of an Eighty-four Mahasiddha painting (or tsakali) set
- Jonang Iconography Style
- Lineage Paintings
- Virupa Vision of Sachen Kunga Nyingpo
- Black Virupa
- Six Standard Iconographic Forms
- Ngorchen Virupa Forms Page
- Virupa Masterworks
- Confusions
- Others...

1. Right Pointing Gesture
2. Left Pointing Gesture
3. Dharma Teaching Gesture
4. Right Hand Presses on the Seat, Left Above the Knee
5. Right Hand Raised to the Forehead
6. Two Hands in the Three Pronged Vajra Gesture

Identification Confusions:
- Shri Simha
- Tsang Nyon Heruka
- Others...

Medium Type:
- painting or sculpture
- Block print image
- Illuminated manuscript (book illumination)
- Others...

Virupa, the Lord of Yoga, 9th century (Tibetan: bir wa pa, nal jor wang chug); foremost in magical attainments amongst the Eighty-four Mahasiddhas of India. He can appear in a number of different forms and colours. He can also appear in different contexts such as a set of lineage images, a narrative scene, the set of Eighty-four Mahasiddhas, as a Guruyoga meditation form, etc. Virupa is not unique to any one tradition of Tibetan Buddhism and therefore can be found almost anywhere. In the Sakya Tradition Virupa is typically depicted in one of six textually documented forms that follow the major events in his life story.

When depicted with the right arm raised in the air and performing a wrathful gesture Virupa can easily be mistaken for the Nyingma teacher Shri Simha who appears in a similar posture and gesture.

"Reversing the Ganga and subduing the evil king;
While holding the sun - drinking the liquor of the entire country, without being drunk;
Completely shattering the Linga and subduing the Chandali;
To the renowned Lord of Power, I bow my head." (Sakya liturgical verse).

"With a body blue in colour,
The right hand pressed to the ground,
The left upraised in a threatening gesture,
Seated in the sattva posture;
To the One reversing the Ganga, I bow! Mangalam."

Jeff Watt 2-2002 [Updated 11-2016, 4-2017]