Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Heruka (Nyingma)

ཧེ་རུ་ཀ། རྙིང་མ་པ། 嘿噜嘎 (寧瑪巴)
(item no. 65859)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Nyingma and Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
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, green in colour, with three faces and six hands he embraces the consort with the first pair. The outstretched right hands hold a wheel and a sword. The two left hold a lasso and a peg dagger. The red two-armed consort holds a sun-moon disc with the left hand and a skull garland in the right. Standing on two prone forms, a sun disc and multi-coloured lotus seat, they are surrounded by the brightly burning orange and red flames of pristine awareness fire.

Eight main retinue figures 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 orange and red hats.

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 [updated 11-2009]

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Buddhist Deity: Lama Gongdu Terma Cycle (Main Page)
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 4
Collection of RMA: Painting Masterworks Page