Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Kurukulla (Buddhist Deity) - Four Armed

ཀུ་རུ་ཀུ་ལེ། ནང་ལྷ། 作明佛母(佛教本尊)
(item no. 59017)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1600 - 1699
Lineages Sakya, Ngor (Sakya) and Buddhist
Material Red Background on Cotton
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Semi-Peaceful

Gender: Female

Interpretation / Description

Kurukulla: Five Deity Kurukulla in the tradition of Dombi Heruka as transmitted through the Sakya Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.

Kurukulla can be [1] her own entity, [2] an emanation of Tara or [3] an emanation of Hevajra.

"...the Goddess Kurukulla, with a body red in colour, one face and four arms. The first two hands hold an utpala bow and arrow drawn to the ear. The lower right holds a hook that subdues the Three Worlds, the lower left an utpala noose; with short fangs, the face is slightly smiling and slightly angry, with three eyes and adorned with two beautiful breasts, having the youthful form of sixteen years, with brown hair flowing upwards, adorned with five skulls having the nature of the Five Families as a crown, a necklace of fifty fresh heads and five ornaments of bone, wearing a tiger skin as a lower garment, standing on a human corpse with the head turned to the left, with the left leg extended. The toes of the right are placed on the thigh, as in a half vajra [posture] dancing manner, dwelling in the midst of a beautiful circle of sun rays, visible, but not solid, like the form of illusion." (Ngorchen Konchog Lhundrub (1497-1557). sGrub Thabs Kun bTus, vol.8, folios 528-555).

"Culmination of the pristine awareness and compassion of all conquerors, Well arising as the bliss-emptiness - Goddess of Power, Controlling all beings of the three realms with a charming form; Homage to the Dakini." (Nyingma liturgical verse).

Jeff Watt 8-2005 [updated 9-2014, 4-2017]

Front of Painting
English Translation of Inscription: [Name inscriptions for each figure]

Related Items
Publication: The Mystical Arts of Tibet

Thematic Sets
Buddhist Deity: Kurukulla Religious Context
Buddhist Deity: Kurukulla Masterworks
Painting Type: Red Ground Masterworks
Buddhist Deity: Kurukulla Main Page