Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Heruka (Nyingma)

ཧེ་རུ་ཀ། རྙིང་མ་པ། 嘿噜嘎 (寧瑪巴)
(item no. 224)
Origin Location Eastern Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Nyingma
Size 80.65x54.61cm (31.75x21.50in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# F1997.14.1
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, white in colour, with three faces and six hands embracing the consort; the two main hands are folded in front holding a wheel and vase. The remaining right hands hold a vajra and a stick with a flayed human skin. The left hold a bell and lasso. The blue two armed consort holds a conch shell and a banner. Standing on a sun disc and pink 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. At the top center is the deity of purification - Vajrasattva.

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

Reverse of Painting
Special Features: (includes "Om Ah Hum" inscription)

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Buddhist Deity: Lama Gongdu Terma Cycle (Main Page)
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 2
Tradition: Nyingma Deity Paintings
Painting Style: Kham Region (Kham-ri)
Buddhist Deity: Heruka