Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Hayagriva (Buddhist Deity) - Black

རྟ་མགྲིན། ནང་ལྷ། 马头明王(佛教本尊)
(item no. 927)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Buddhist
Size 53.98x39.37cm (21.25x15.50in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment, Black Background on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# P1999.33.4
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Wrathful

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Black Hayagriva with an Iron Sword (Tibetan: tam drin nag po chag ral, English: Black Horse Neck One) of the Revealed Treasure Lineage of Nyang Ral Nyima Ozer (1124-1192) of the Nyingma School. A protection circle (yantra) fills the central torso of Hayagriva.

"...on a lotus and sun seat, is the King of the Wrathful, Hayagriva, with a very fierce body blue-black in colour. With one face, two hands and three eyes, the face is radiant with bared fangs, blazing orange beard and mustache. A green horse head on the crown neighs - gathering the power of the Three Realms. The right hand holds a sword aloft severing the heads and bodies of enemies into pieces. The left holds a hook to conduct the life force of enemies and hindrances. In a manner of play with the left extended the two feet are supported by enemies and hindrances. The body is dressed in a great cloak of black silk and a human hide with a lower garment of tiger skin. Having a crown of five dry skulls and a necklace of fifty wet, snake coils of the five naga races, complete with the eight glorious articles - standing in a vast blazing heap of fire." (Terdag Lingpa Gyurme Dorje (1646-1714) and Min-ling Lochen Dharmashri 1654-1718. Tibetan source text 'dod 'jo bum bzang, Part I, page 258).

Jeff Watt 4-2007

Front of Painting
English Translation of Inscription: [Sanskrit protection mantras written in Tibetan script in a yantra circle format]

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