Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Vajrakila (Eight Pronouncements)

རྡོ་རྗེ་ཕུར་པ། 金刚普巴(本尊)
(item no. 83446)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Nyingma and Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Vajrakila, Heruka (Tibetan: dor je pur ba, trag tung. English: Vajra Peg, Blood Drinker). The Activity Deity from the set of Eight Herukas (Tib.: ka gye) of the Mahayoga Tantras of the Nyingmapa School.

Fearsome and wrathful, blue in colour with three faces, six hands and four legs, the right face is white and left red, each has three eyes, a gaping mouth and reddish-coloured hair flowing upward. The first pair of hands hold a kila (three sided peg) at the heart. The right hands hold a five and nine pointed vajra and the left hands hold a trident (katvanga staff) and a mass of flame. Unfurled behind are two large wings decorated with vajras. Adorned with a crown of five skulls, earrings, bracelets and a necklace of fifty heads, he wears an elephant hide across the back and a tiger skin as a lower garment. The consort Diptachakra (Flaming Wheel) is light blue in colour with one face and two hands holding a skullcup in the left and a vajra scepter upraised in the right. Adorned with jewels, she wears a leopard skin skirt and the left leg raised to embrace the male consort. Atop the splayed bodies of Maheshvara and Uma, a sun disc and multi-coloured lotus the terrific deities stand surrounded by the orange-red flames of pristine awareness.

At the top center is the deity Vajrasattva with Padmasambhava and Yeshe Tsogyal below. Below that, on the left side is a siddha-type figure. On the right side is Godemchen.

Surrounding the central figure are the retinue and attendant deities of the mandala, some with 'kila' lower bodies (male) and some with animal faces (female). At the bottom of the composition are two protector figures, Gauri with a white body and Marajit with a blue body, riding a blue horse.

Jeff Watt 3-2016

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