Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Ucchushma

Confused Visual Subjects

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Description (below)
- Mahabala
- Black Jambhala
- Bhurkumkuta (Male)
- Bhurkumkuta (Female)
- Ucchushma (Nyingma)
- Vajranakhi
- Confusions
- Others...

Video: Ucchushma Deities

The Sanskrit word ucchushma is commonly used as a name, title or epithet, for each of the deities or deity categories above. Originating in Indian literature to describe both male and female followers of Shiva the name can also be found in Vaishnava texts, tantras, and shastras. The name Ucchushma also appears in the first chapter of the Manjushri Mula Kalpa Tantra as a vidyaraja attendant of the bodhisattva Vajrapani. In Himalayan and Tibetan Buddhism the word is most often found as a reference for Black Jambhala. It is also more commonly used for the female version of Bhurkumkuta. While it is popular to use Ucchushma in East Asia as a name for Mahabala that is a rare reference in Tibetan Buddhism.

Jeff Watt 4-2024

Links & Publications:

The Practice involving the Ucchuṣmas (Atharvavedapariśiṣṭa 36)*. Peter Bisschop & Arlo Griffiths. Studien zur Indologie und Iranistik 24 (2007) 1-46.

Ucchushma, Ucchuṣma: 8 definitions. Wisdom Library. 11-2021.