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. 8057)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Sakya, Ngor (Sakya) and Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Semi-Peaceful

Gender: Female

Interpretation / Description

Kurukulla (Tibetan: rig che ma. English: The One of the Action Family): Goddess of Power. Commissioned by a student of Sharchen Ludingpa Mingyur Gyaltsen (b.1717 [TBRC P5947]), the 37th abbot of Ngor Monastery, who is pictured at the bottom right of the composition.

"...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).

Jeff Watt [added 3-2018]

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Teacher: Mingyur Gyaltsen, Sharchen Ludingpa
Painting Set: Ganapati, Kurukulla & Akshobhya
Collection: Private 1
Buddhist Deity: Kurukulla Main Page
Subject: Deity Colours - Red (Powerful Activities)
Collection of Navin Kumar Gallery (Painting Masterworks)
Subject: Thirteen Golden Dharmas of Sakya
Buddhist Deity: Kurukulla Masterworks
Painting Set: Thirteen Golden Dharmas (Kham)