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Kurukulla is a Tantric Buddhist meditational deity originating in India. She has a standard recognized appearance that is very common along with other forms that are less well known. There are numerous forms and lineages of Kurukulla arising from the Kriya and Anuttarayoga classes of Buddhist tantra of the New (Sarma) traditions and many forms from the 'Terma' (Revealed Treasure) discoveries of the Nyingmapa Tradition. She can appear peaceful or semi wrathful and in a range of colours from white, pink and blue to her more typical red colour. In the Kriya tantras she is often portrayed, but not exclusively, as a red power emanation of Tara. However, most forms of red Tara are not Kurukulla. In Anuttarayoga, from the Hevajra and Vajrapanjara Tantras, she is a power emanation of Shri Hevajra.

Kurukulla can be [1] her own entity, [2] an emanation of Tara or [3] an emanation of Hevajra.

"...the Goddess Kurukulla, with a body red in colour, one face and four arms. The first two hands hold an utpala bow and arrow drawn to the ear. The lower right holds a hook that subdues the Three Worlds, the lower left an utpala noose; with short fangs, the face is slightly smiling and slightly angry, with three eyes and adorned with two beautiful breasts, having the youthful form of sixteen years, with brown hair flowing upwards, adorned with five skulls having the nature of the Five Families as a crown, a necklace of fifty fresh heads and five ornaments of bone, wearing a tiger skin as a lower garment, standing on a human corpse with the head turned to the left, with the left leg extended. The toes of the right are placed on the thigh, as in a half vajra [posture] dancing manner, dwelling in the midst of a beautiful circle of sun rays, visible, but not solid, like the form of illusion." (Ngorchen Konchog Lhundrub (1497-1557). sGrub Thabs Kun bTus, vol.8, folios 528-555).

"Culmination of the pristine awareness and compassion of all conquerors,
Well arising as the bliss-emptiness - Goddess of Power,
Controlling all beings of the three realms with a charming form;
Homage to the Dakini." (Nyingma liturgical verse).

The One Hundred Methods of Accomplishment of Bari Lotsawa Rinchen Drag

51. Kurukulla
52. Kalpoktam Kurukulla
53. Kurukulla
54. Oddiyana Vinirgata Kurukulla

[51] Kurukulla.
Kurukulla, [with] a body white/red in colour, [having] one face and four hands. The first two [hands] hold an utpala bow and arrow, drawn near to the ear. The lower right is in the gesture of bestowing fearlessness. The lower left holds a hook. Adorned with jewel ornaments and wearing upper and lower garments of red silk. Seated in the vajrasana [posture] above the Small Desire Realm gods and goddesses.

[52] Kalpoktam Kurukulla.
Kurukulla with a body red in colour, one face and four hands. The first two hold a drawn bow and arrow, the lower right, the gesture of fearlessness, the lower left, a red utpala [flower]. Wearing jewel ornaments and garments of red silk. Issuing forth red rays of light. Standing in the cave of Kurukulla, in a half asana posture with the left leg extended, above the head of Rahula dwelling together with the Lesser Gods of Desire.

[53] Kurukulle: the Goddess Kurukulla Arisen from Tara.
[Taken] from the other [meditations] above. The first two hands [hold] an utpala bow and arrow. The lower right [the gesture of] supreme generosity. [The lower left an utpala.]

[54] Oddiyana Vinirgata Kurukulla.
Kurukulla with a body red in colour, one face and four hands. The first two hold an utpala bow and arrow. The lower right, a red utpala acting as a hook. The lower left, a red utpala with a blood filled skullcup above. Having three eyes and bared fangs. Brown hair bristling upwards. Having a crown of dry human skulls and a necklace of fifty fresh. Adorned with bone ornaments [and] wearing a lower garment of tiger skin. Standing with the left leg extended in a half posture - dancing manner.

The Ocean of Methods (Sadhanamala, Drub Thab Gyatso) (9th Je Khenpo Shakya Rinchen edited text)

89. Kurukulla (1), Red with One Face and Four Hands
90. Kurukulla (2), Red with One Face and Four Hands
91. Kurukulla (3), Red with One Face and Six Hands
92. Kurukulla (4), Red with One Face and Eight Hands
93. Kurukulla (5), White with One Face and Two Hands
94. Kurukulla (6), White with One Face and Six Hands

Sadhanamala (Compendium of Deity Forms):
- [171] Tarobhava Kurukulla (Kalpoktam)
- [172] Tarobhava Kurukulla Sadhanam (Muktakena)
- [173] Kurukulla Shadbhuja (six hands)
- [174] Ashtabhuja Kurukulla (Indrabhuti, eight hands)
- [175] Bhramariyoga Kurukulla Sadhanam
- [176] Kurukulla Upadesha
- [177] Kurukulla Sadhanam
- [178] Arya Shrimati Kurukulla Sadhanam
- [179] Uddiyana Vinirgata Kurukulla
- [180] Shrulka Kurukulla Sadhanam
- [181] Kurukulla Sadhanam, Acharya Shri Krishna Padanam Mayajala Mahayoga Tantra
- [182] Kurukulla Shadbhuja Bhattarika Sadhanam
- [183] Kurukulla, Sahaja Vilasya Hevajra Tantra
- [184] Samskipta Kurukulla
- [185] Sita Kurukulla
- [186] Hevajra Krama Kurukulla
- [187] Kurukulla Sadhanam Karunachalashya Hevajra Tantra
- [188] Kurukulla Sadhanam
- [189] Karmaprasar Prayog
- [190] Kurukulla Balividhi

Jeff Watt 8-2005 [updated 9-2014]