Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Hayagriva (Buddhist Deity) - Heruka

རྟ་མགྲིན། ནང་ལྷ། 马头明王(佛教本尊)
(item no. 15215)
Origin Location Eastern Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Nyingma and Karma (Kagyu)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Shechen Archives - photographs
Painting School Karma Gardri
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Wrathful

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Hayagriva, Heruka (Tibetan: tam drin, drag tung. English: the Horse-necked One, Blood-drinker): from the Lama Gongdu Cycle of Revealed Treasure (Tibetan: ter ma) teachings of the Nyingma tradition.

Sanskrit: Heruka Tibetan: Drag tung

Fearsome and wrathful in appearance, red in colour, with three faces and six hands, three horse heads adorn the crown of the central face. He embraces the consort with the first pair of hands while holding a golden vajra scepter and a white blood filled skull. The two remaining outstretched right hands hold a katvanga staff and a blue snake. The two left hands hold a bell and a length of blue chain. The dark-red two-armed consort holds a skullcup and a trident. Standing on two prone naga forms, a sun disc and multi-coloured lotus seat, they are surrounded by the brightly burning orange flames of pristine awareness fire.

Eight main retinue couples surround the central pair. Minor figures stand in various dancing postures in the foreground. Seated at the top left and right are two lineage lamas wearing red pandita 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
Tradition: Nyingma Deity Paintings
Buddhist Deity: Heruka
Painting Set: Lama Gongdu 1
Collection of Shechen Archives: Gallery I