Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Heruka (Nyingma)

ཧེ་རུ་ཀ། རྙིང་མ་པ། 嘿噜嘎 (寧瑪巴)
(item no. 15259)
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

Fearsome and wrathful in appearance, blue in colour, with three faces and six hands, he embraces the consort with the first pair of hands while holding a golden vajra scepter and an upturned bell. The two remaining outstretched right hands hold a blue snake and a curved flaying knife. The two left hands hold a large pink lotus blossom and a white blood filled skullcup. The dark-red two-armed consort holds a skullcup and a trident. Standing on two prone 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 a red vajra crown and the meditation hat of Gampopa.

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