Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Humkara (Buddhist Deity)

ཧུཾ་མཛད་ཀ་ར། ནང་ལྷ། 大威红胜金刚(佛教本尊)
(item no. 68445)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 900 - 999
Lineages Buddhist
Material Metal, Mercuric Gild, Painted Face/Hair
Collection Nyingjei Lam
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Vajra Humkara.

With one face and four arms, he holds in the upraised right hand a vajra scepter. In the extended left hand is a pestle(?). The two principle hands at the level of the heart display a variation of the 'humkara' gesture unique to the deity himself. The crown is adorned with the five Buddha families along with various other ornaments such as earrings with ribbons, armlets bracelets and a belt. Attired in only a short skirt he bends a knee and leans to the right side.

Humkara (resounding with the sound HUM) is a meditational deity belonging to the literature and practice of Vajrayana Buddhism. He functions in both a supporting role as a retinue figure and as a central figure in a Tantric mandala. From the textual and visual descriptions he is male and generally appears as semi-peaceful/wrathful or in a completely wrathful appearance. Typically from the known examples, he can have two or more arms and have up to three faces. Some examples also depict a consort with two or four arms.

Jeff Watt [updated 7-2019]

Secondary Images
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