Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Mandala of Hevajra (Buddhist Deity) - (Samputa Tantra)

ཀྱེ་རྡོ་རྗེ། ནང་ལྷ། 喜金刚(佛教本尊)
(item no. 86443)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1400 - 1499
Lineages Sakya and Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Semi-Peaceful

Gender: Male

TBRC: bdr:W22934

Interpretation / Description

Shastradhara (weapon holding) Hevajra (late 15th or early 16th century) is described in the Samputa Tantra - a shared explanatory Tantra of the Hevajra Root Tantra. Aside from the Samputa Tantra, the most common reference and ritual source for the Shastradhara form of Hevajra is the Vajravali text of Abhayakaragupta.

Sanskrit: Hevajra Tibetan: Gye pa dor je

The principal Tantric practice of Marpa Chokyi Lodro (1012-1096) is said to have been the deity Hevajra and specifically the Shastradhara form. The Shastradhara form was available through other sources of lineage transmission in Tibet and the Himalayas prior to the introduction of the Vajravali text in the 13th century.

There are two main differences between the Hevajra Tantra form of the deity and the Samputa Tantra form of the deity. The first difference is the mandala configuration where the Hevajra Tantra version is called a nine deity mandala and the Samputa version is a seventeen deity mandala. In both cases the Hevajra and Nairatmya figures at the center are counted as one. In the Samputa Tantra, to account for the larger mandala size, eight additional retinue figures are described: four door keepers and four intermediate direction figures. Second, the retinue goddesses in the Hevajra Tantra each have two arms. In the Samputa Tantra the goddesses have four arms each.

See the essential components of a Hevajra mandala with numbered and labeled figures and colour coded sections.

Jeff Watt 12-2009

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Buddhist Deity: Hevajra Mandalas (Masterworks)
Mandala: Sakya Masterworks
Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Painting)
Buddhist Deity: Hevajra Mandalas
Buddhist Deity: Hevajra, Shastradhara
Painting Set: Vajravali (Ngor 3)