Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Hayagriva (Buddhist Deity) - Heruka (Eight Pronouncements)

རྟ་མགྲིན། ནང་ལྷ། 马头明王(佛教本尊)
(item no. 83424)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Nyingma, Gelug and Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Wrathful

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Hayagriva, Heruka (Tibetan: tam drin, drag tung. English: Horse Neck): from the Eight Sadhana Sections of Mahayoga Tantra of the Nyingma School. This form of Hayagriva is popular with the Sera Monastery of the Gelug Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.

Wrathful, red in colour, with three faces, each with three large round staring eyes and cavernous mouths with sharp canine teeth, he has brown hair flowing upward and on top of the head is a small green horse head. The right face is white and the left green. With six hands the first pair hold a red lotus flower and skullcup while embracing the consort. The second hold a vajra hook, lasso and stretched human skin; the last pair of hands a stick and sword. Adorned with a crown of five dry skulls, earrings, gold and jewel ornaments, a necklace of heads and a tiger skin skirt, he is completely attired in wrathful charnel ground vestments and a set of vajra wings. The consort has one face and two hands, blue in colour, holding a skullcup in the left. Adorned in wrathful attire she wears a necklace of skulls and a leopard skin skirt. Standing with eight legs, the right bent and left straight, above two corpses atop a sun disc and multi-coloured lotus Hayagriva and consort dwell surrounded by the flames of pristine awareness. zzSurrounding the central couple are nine retinue figures.

At the top of the composition is Amitabha Buddha and four seated Tibetan teachers. Along the bottom of the composition are five protector figures.

Jeff Watt 3-2016

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