Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Vajrayogini (Buddhist Deity) - Krodha Kali (Wrathful Black Varahi)

རྡོ་རྗེ་རྣལ་འབྱོར་མ། སྣང་བརྙན་ཡོངས། 金刚瑜伽佛母(全图)
(item no. 490)
Origin Location Mongolia
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Shiche/Chöd
Size 38.10x26.67cm (15x10.50in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment, Fine Gold Line on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# F1996.24.3
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Semi-Peaceful

Gender: Female

Interpretation / Description

Troma Nagmo (Sanskrit: Krishna Krodhini. English: the Fierce Black One), a wrathful form of Vajravarahi.

"...Bhagavani [Krodha Kali] with a great radiance at the time of darkness, fierce and raging. The main face is wrathful, the very pure relative truth, and the upper face of a pig is the pure ultimate truth, gazing upward; [both] having three round red eyes. The right hand holds a curved knife upraised and the left a skullcup of blood [held] to the heart. In the bend of the left elbow, as the nature of method, appears a katvanga staff. Wearing an elephant hide as an upper garment and a tiger skin as a lower garment; adorned with snakes and bones. Dark yellow hair bristles upward, the remainder falling loose. With a crown of five dry human skulls, a necklace of fifty fresh. The left leg is extended in a half dance posture pressing on the heart of a human corpse. Appearing youthful and dwelling in the middle of a blazing mass of fire." (Terdag Lingpa Gyurme Dorje (1646-1714) and Min-ling Lochen Dharmashri 1654-1718).

Blue-black in colour, she has one central face and a small brown pig head on the crown looking to the right. Wrathful in appearance she has three round glaring eyes, a gaping red mouth and yellow hair flowing upward like flames. In the right hand held upraised is a curved knife. In the left held to the heart is a blood filled skullcup; a katvanga staff rests against the shoulder. Adorned with a tiara of five skulls, bone earrings, ornaments and a necklace of freshly severed heads, draped across the shoulders she wears a frightful human skin. Standing on the left leg in a posture of dance atop a corpse, sun disc and lotus blossom, she is completely surrounded by the orange-red flames of pristine awareness. At the lower left, presented as an offering, is a skullcup of nectar. At the lower right is a skullcup of blood.

The original practice lineage belongs to the Zhije School of Phadampa Sanggye but has now been adopted by all the Sarma Schools of Tibetan Buddhism to a greater or lesser extent. Troma Nagmo is also found in the Terma (Revealed Treasure) Tradition of the Nyingmapa School.

"From the pure, unborn, dharmadhatu palace; Fierce Vajra Black One, performing the benefit of beings; Entire treasure of all excellent and common attainments; Powerful Mistress, to you I bow." (Nyingma Liturgical verse).

Lineage from India: Vajradhara, Jnana Dakini, Virupa, Brahmin Aryadeva, Pha Dampa Sanggye (11th century), etc.

Jeff Watt 4-98

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery III
Buddhist Deity: Vajrayogini Main Page
Buddhist Deity: Deities (Female)
Buddhist Deity: Vajrayogini, Krodha Kali
Tradition: Zhije & Cho (Pacifying, Cutting, Severing)
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Mongolia