Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Simhamukha (Buddhist Deity)

སེང་གདོང་མ། ནང་ལྷ། 狮面空行佛母(佛教本尊)
(item no. 700088)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Buddhist
Size 30.48cm (12in) high
Material Bronze
Collection Shelley & Donald Rubin
Catalogue # acc.# P2000.34.1
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Simhamukha, Dakini (Tibetan: seng ge dong chen kha dro ma. English: Lion Faced Dakini).

With a female body and the face of a lion, she has three eyes, a gaping mouth, a beard and upward flowing hair. The right hand holds aloft a curved knife to the sky, in the left a skullcup of blood to the heart. Adorned with a tiara of five skulls and various ornaments, she stands on the left leg with the right drawn up.

"Arising from the state of the dharmadhatu, Mother of all conquerors, Queen of all the countless dakinis; With magic powers smashing to dust hindrances and enemies. Homage to Simhamukha." (Nyingma liturgical verse).

Within the Nyingma School, of the two divisions of Kama (Oral Teachings) and Terma (Revealed Treasures), Simhamukha belongs to the Terma. From the three general divisions of Terma: Root, Branch and Essence, Simhamukha belongs to the Dakini Cycle within the Root Terma class. Generally she is regarded as the secret form of Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava. In the Sarma Tradition the deity Simhamukha is found in the Chakrasamvara Cycle of Tantras and although similar in name and appearance is unrelated.

Jeff Watt 3-2002

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