Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Heruka (Nyingma)

ཧེ་རུ་ཀ། རྙིང་མ་པ། 嘿噜嘎 (寧瑪巴)
(item no. 15171)
Origin Location Eastern Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Nyingma and Karma (Kagyu)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Shechen Archives - photographs
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Heruka (Tibetan: drag tung. English: Blood-drinker): from the Lama Gongdu Cycle of Revealed Treasure (Tibetan: ter ma) teachings of the Nyingma tradition.

Sanskrit: Heruka Tibetan: Drag tung

Wrathful in appearance, blue in colour, with three faces and six hands he embraces the consort with the first right hand. The two remaining outstretched right hands hold a crescent moon and a mass of fire. The three left outstretched hands hold a plough, a sun and a mass of blue water. The white two-armed consort holds a skullcup and a golden wheel. Standing on two prone forms, a sun disc and multi-coloured lotus seat, they are surrounded by the brightly burning orange and red flames of pristine awareness fire.

Eight main retinue couples surround the central pair. Four of the couples are beautiful in appearance and four are skeletal. Minor figures stand in various dancing postures in the foreground. Seated at the top left and right are two lineage lamas wearing orange and red hats.

Sanggye Lingpa (1340-1396) discovered the 'Middling Collection of Precepts, the Gathering of the Guru's Intention' (Tibetan: ka du bar wa la ma gong pa du pa) in the great cave of Puri Rinchen Barwa in the year 1364.

Jeff Watt 11-2000

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Tradition: Kagyu Deity Paintings
Collection of Shechen Archives: Gallery I
Tradition: Nyingma Deity Paintings
Buddhist Deity: Heruka
Painting Set: Lama Gongdu 1