Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Indian Adept (siddha) - Virupa

རྒྱ་གར་གྱི་གྲུབ་ཆེན། 印度大成就者
(item no. 54453)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Buddhist
Material Ground: Paper
Collection Field Museum of Natural History
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Appearance: Mahasiddha

Gender: Male

TBRC: bdr:P3293

Interpretation / Description

Virupa block print image from the Labrang region of Amdo, Tibet.

Virupa, the Lord of Yoga, 9th century (Tibetan: bir wa pa, nal jor wang chug): foremost in magical attainments amongst the 84 mahasiddhas of India.

"Reversing the Ganga and subduing the evil king; while holding the sun - drinking the liquor of the entire country, without being drunk; completely shattering the Linga and subduing the Chandali; to the renowned Lord of Power, I bow my head." (Sakya liturgical verse).

Virupa is included in all of the popular sets of the Eighty-four Mahasiddhas. He has many forms as well as standardized characteristics and features which can include colour, posture (asana), hand gestures (mudras), objects in the hands or on the body, and so on. In the Sakya tradition Virupa has six general forms with different postures and hand gestures, and can appear in three variations of colour depending on those six forms. The form of Virupa with the right hand raised in a wrathful gesture is called 'the posture holding the sun.'

Jeff Watt 11-2010

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