Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Hayagriva (Secret Accomplishment)

Secret Accomplishment Masterworks

- Art History

- Iconography

- Religious Context

Hayagriva 'Secret Accomplishment' (Tibetan: tam drin sang drup. English: Horse Neck): terrific deity of the Padma (Lotus) Family, manifestation of the wrathful activity of Buddha Amitabha, from the Treasure (Terma) Tradition of Kyergangpa, 12th century and Nyemowa Sanggye Wangchen. It is very likely that this 'Secret Accomplishment' form of the deity is based on the Jowo Atisha tradition known as the Hayagriva with Garuda Wings. The hand ornaments are slightly different between the two but the colour, number of faces, hands and legs are the same - less the wings.

The 'Secret Accomplishment' Hayagriva, practiced in all schools of Tibetan Buddhism, is a Treasure Teaching of the Nyingma Tradition, discovered by Nyemowa Sanggye Wangchen. The Shangpa Kagyu master Kyergangpa acquired the teaching directly from Padmasambhava in a dream and was further instructed to receive the teaching of the 'Terma' from Nyemowa. The practice was then made famous throughout Tibet by the Shangpa Kagyu Lama Kyergangpa.

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Jeff Watt 10-1998 [updated 6-2017]