|Date Range||1500 - 1599|
|Material||Ground Mineral Pigment, Gold Background on Cotton|
|Collection||Rubin Museum of Art|
Shri Hevajra and the Eight Goddesses (Tibetan: pal gye pa dor je lha mo gye), the principal Tantric deity of the Sakya School. This painting was created by a master artist and belongs to set of unknown number. Two other paintings from the set are known: Tsembupa Avalokiteshvara and Sakya Tridzin Jambai Dorje.
Semi-wrathful, dark blue in colour with eight faces, sixteen hands and four legs, at each side of the main face are three further faces with the eighth situated centrally above. Brown hair flows upward like flame from each of the heads. Skullcups are held in sixteen hands. The eight on the right hold various animals looking inward and the eight on the left hold the eight worldly gods gazing outward. The first pair of arms folded at the heart embrace the consort. Adorned with a crown of five skulls, bone ornaments and a necklace of fifty freshly severed heads he has the appearance of being slightly wrathful and slightly peaceful. The consort Vajra Nairatmya, blue in colour, has one face and two hands. In the upraised right she holds a curved knife. Adorned with a tiara of five skulls, a necklace of fifty skulls and white bone ornaments, she is supported by the left leg with the right embracing Hevajra. Standing on two legs with the two remaining drawn up in a dancing stance atop the forms of four Hindu gods, a sun disc and multi-coloured lotus seat, Hevajra and consort are completely surrounded by the flames of pristine awareness.
Surrounding the central figures are eight goddesses in various colours, each with one face and two hands, standing in a dancing posture on the left leg above a corpse and lotus seat. Beginning from the top and moving in a clockwise direction they are yellow Vetali, multi-coloured Dombini, green Ghashmari, blue Pukkashi, black Gauri, white Shavari, red Chauri, and purple Chandali. They are all adorned with bone ornaments and a necklace of fifty skulls and each holds their own distinct hand objects.
Across the top of the painting starting at the left are Sachen Kunga Nyingpo, Vajrasattva, Virupa and Dragpa Gyaltsen.
At the bottom left is the special guardian of the Hevajra Tantra, Panjarnata Mahakala, black, with one face and two hands holding a curved knife and skullcup, standing above a corpse and lotus seat surrounded by flame. At the right is Mahakali Shri Devi, light blue and emaciated, with one face and four hands holding a sword and skullcup in the right and a trident and spear in the left, riding a light brown mule standing in an ocean of blood.
Shri Hevajra is a meditational deity of the Anuttarayoga non-dual classification. From the many Hevajra Tantras, and forms of the deity, this representation of Hevajra arises from the root Hevajra Tantra of 'Two Sections' and was popularized by the Indian mahasiddha (the one of great accomplishment) Dombi Heruka.
Lineage: Vajradhara, Nairatmya, Virupa, Acharya Dombi Heruka, Alala Vajra, Nag Tropa, Garbharipa, Jaya Shrjnana, Acharya Durjayachandra, Bikshu Viravajra, Drogmi Lotsawa, Ngaripa Salwai Nyingpo, Khon Gyichuwa Drala Bar, Sachen Kunga Nyingpo (1092-1158), etc.
Jeff Watt 10-2006
Reverse of Painting
English Translation of Inscription: Inscriptions on back.
Special Features: (Ranjana script (Ornamental Sanskrit))
Buddhist Deity: Hevajra Painting & Textile (Masterworks)
Buddhist Deity: Hevajra, Deity Paintings
Painting Tradition: Menri
Painting Type: Gold Ground
Buddhist Deity: Hevajra Main Page
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Main Page (Gallery 1)
Painting Set: Sakya Gold Ground (Series)
Painting Type: Gold Ground Masterworks
Collection of RMA: Best of Collection 1