Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Yamari, Rakta (Buddhist Deity) - Heruka

གཤིན་རྗེ་གཤེད་དམར། དམར་པོ། 红威罗瓦金刚
(item no. 87206)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1600 - 1699
Lineages Uncertain
Size 87.70x62cm (34.53x24.41in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment, Black Background on Cotton
Collection Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Catalogue # acc.# 07.307, Gift of Edward W. Forbes
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Wrathful

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Rakta Yamari (Tibetan: shin je she mar. English: the Red Enemy of Death). An emanation of the bodhisattva of wisdom Manjushri, he embraces the consort Vajra Vetali.

Sanskrit: Rakta Yamari Tibetan: Shin je she mar

"... Bhagavan Krodha Yamari with a body red in colour, one face and two hands. The right hand holds aloft a white stick marked with a fresh yellow head. The left holds a blood filled skullcup embracing the Vidya of natural light [Vajra Vetali]; mouth with bared fangs and tongue curled, possessing three round red eyes, yellow mustache, eyebrows and hair flowing upward, wearing a lower garment of tiger skin, adorned with the eight great nagas and a necklace of half a hundred dripping heads and a crown of five dry skulls. Frightful with the resources of a yamari standing above a red buffalo in a manner with the right leg bent and left straight in the middle of a blazing fire of pristine awareness." (Thartse Panchen Namka Palzang, 18th century).

At the top center is the primordial buddha Vajradhara accompanied by Vajrasattva, mahasiddhas (Indian adepts) and Tibetan lamas of the lineage. At the middle left and right are the meditational deities Akshobhyavajra Guhyasamaja and Mahamaya.

At the bottom center is Heruka Vajrabhairava with Krishna Yamari at the left and 'Secret Accomplishment' Hayagriva on the right.

The Main Indian Lineage: Vajradhara, Manjushri Yamari, Jnanadakini, mahasiddha Virupa, Dombi Heruka, Viratipa, Matigarbha, Gambhiramati, Vajrasana Ashokashri, Nishkalangka Devi, Revendra Prabha, Chag Lotsawa Choje Pal (the first Tibetan in the lineage), etc. There were many lineages of Rakta Yamari to enter Tibet and most are traced back to the mahasiddha Virupa.

Jeff Watt 4-2001 [updated 12-2009]

Numbered List:
Yellow Numbers -
1. Vajradhara
2. Dombi Heruka
3. Vajrasattva
4. Kunkyen Pagpa O
5. Dorje Drag
6. ?
7. Dorje Chang Kyenrabje
8. Virupa
9. Brahmin Paldzin
10. Marpa Lotsawa
11. Tsurton Wanggi Dorje

White Numbers -
1. Rakta Yamari
2. Akshobhyavajra Guhyasamaja
3. Mahamaya
4. Vajrabhairava Heruka
5. Krishna Yamari
6. Hayagriva 'Secret Accomplishment'

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Painting Type: Black Ground Main Page
Buddhist Deity: Red Wrathful Appearance (Male)
Painting Set: Shalu (17th century Atelier)
Tradition: Shalu/Bulug Main Page
Painting Type: Black Ground Masterworks
Collection of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Masterworks)
Collection of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Buddhist Deity: Yamari, Rakta, Main Page
Subject: Greyscale - Figurative & General Composition
Buddhist Deity: Yamari, Rakta (Masterworks)
Buddhist Deity: Yamari, Rakta (with corpse)
Buddhist Deity: Yamari Main Page