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Buddhist Deity: Bhurkumkuta (Buddhist Deity)

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Bhurkumkuta, Krodha Raja (Tibetan: me wa tseg pa, tro wo gyal po): a meditational deity specifically employed in the eradication of sickness and disease. The deity arises from the Krodha Bhurkumkuta Raja Stotra Mantra text written in the Sanskrit language and then later translated into Tibetan, Chinese, Manchu and other languages [khro'i rgyal po sme rtsegs la bstod pa'i sngags. Lha sa bka' 'gyur, vol. 90, pages 586-588].

Bhurkumkuta belongs to the Kriya Classification of Buddhist Tantra and within Kriya he is further categorized as 'general' which means he can be employed in any of the three larger Kriya classifications of Tathagata, Vajra or Padma. He is also explained as an emanation of all three bodies of a fully enlightened Buddha: nirmanakaya, sambhogakaya and dharmakaya. A short description of his appearance is described along with the mantra in the single folio, two page, Tibetan text.

The emphasis for the function of Bhukumkuta is the removal of sickness of an individual person while the emphasis for all contagious diseases in general is found with the deity Parnashavari. Many specific illnesses can be associated with any number of other deities such as blood disorders with Hayagriva, leprosy and skin disorders caused by nagas are relieved by the meditational deity Garuda for example. Bhurkumkuta is found in the Nartang Gyatsa and Rinjung Gyatsa collections of sadhanas (practices). Both of these collections of Indian Buddhist practice were compiled in Tibet. Bhurkumkuta is more commonly found as a minor figure in painted compositions (see example).

Like the female healing deity Parnashavari, Bhurkumkuta is generally unrelated to any other popular or more common Buddhist deities such as Manjushri, Avalokiteshvara or Vajrapani. Both Bhurkumkuta and Parnashavari have their own historical identities and histories in Indian, Himalayan and Tibetan Tantric Buddhism.

Bhurkumkuta in some Tibetan traditions is included with the 'Five Cleansing Deities' which are: [1] Bhurkumkuta, [2] Green Vajravidarana, [3] Blue Vajravidarana, [4] Ushnishvijaya, and [5] Vajrasattva.

There are four commonly known forms of the deity in the Tibetan 'New Tantras.' Three of the four are differentiated by colour, smoky, blue-black and green. The smoky-coloured deity is associated with the Sakya Tradition and the blue-black and green were associated with the Kadam Tradition of Atisha. The fourth form is the most unusual because it is female. It is very unusual for deities to have both a male and female form. This might even be the only instance in Tibetan Buddhism.

Forms of Bhurkumkuta:
- Smoky-coloured (Sakya Tradition)
- Blue-black (Atisha Tradition)
- Green, Bhurkumkuta
- Krodhini, Bhurkumkuta (female deity)
- Others....

Smoky-coloured Bhurkumkuta:
"...Krodha Bhurkumkuta, with a body smoky in colour, three faces and six hands. The right face is white, left red, the main face is smoky. Each [face] possesses three eyes, four bared fangs and a fierce frown. Orange eyebrows and a moustache blaze upward, with brown-black hair flowing upward entwined with a blue-black snake with a yellow belly; and having a crown of five dry skulls. The first right hand holds a visvavajra, the second, a five pointed vajra, third, a vajra hook. The first left holds a vajra stick, second, a vajra lasso, the third performs a vajra wrathful gesture, and all of those are raised upward; [adorned with] a garland of dry skulls as a necklace. All the limbs are adorned with snakes; and wearing a lower garment of tiger skin. The two legs are in a wide stance, above a lotus and sun, standing in the middle of a blazing fire of pristine awareness arising from the body." (Chatral Kunga Lhundrub. sgrub thabs kun btus, vol.7, fol.198-199. [1988]).

Lineage for Smoky-coloured Bhurkumkuta:
Jetari, Vajrasana, Baripa, Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen, Sapan, Dratangpa Sonam Pal, Lama Lodro Pal, Yeshe Sengge, Sonam Sherab, Kanpo Shergon, Hor Kazhipa Seng Gyal, Ngag Chang Yontanpa, Rongpo Lobzangpa, Kushang Khyenrab Choje, Janglung Shonnu Chodrub, Jetsun Drolchog, Je Doringpa, (Jetsun Taranata), etc.

Lineage for Green Bhurkumkuta:
Jowo Atisha, Nagtso, Chagsorwa, Jangdul, Chokyi Wangchug, Chokyi Sherab, Lochogpa, Nyamme Drag Gyal, Lama Shakya, Sazang Pagpa, Ngorchen, Khachar Sempa, panchen Rinpoche, Drag Kar Sempa, Je Doringpa, (Jetsun Taranata), etc.

Lineage for Krodhini Bhurkumkuta:
Jnana Dakini, Drupangtsa, Dru Dorje Sengge, Drag Nagpa Seng Gyal, Khanpo So Seng, Lama Gyagar Gyaltsen, Choje Senggepa, Shonnu Lodro, Shonnu Konchog, Shonnu Dondrub, Shonnu Chodrub, Janglungpa, Jetsun Drolchog, Je Doringpa, (Jetsun Taranata), etc. (Rinjung of Taranata. Folio 295).

Jeff Watt 6-2003 [updated 3-2012]