Vajrayogini Main Page
Database Search: All Objects | Painting | Sculpture
Subjects, Topics & Forms of Vajravarahi
- Vajravarahi Description (below)
- Vajrayogini Index of Names
- Vajrayogini Outline Page
- Red Vajravarahi
- White Vajravarahi
- Krodha Kali (black) Vajravarahi
- Five Deity Vajravarahi
- Sow Main Face
- Artasiddhi Vajravarahi
- Vajravarahi (face on top of the head)
- Vajravarahi (sow head on the side of the face)
- Vajrayogini, Dancing Posture (no boar's face)
- Six Texts of Vajravarahi (Blue Annals)
- Vajrayogini/Varahi (Early Works)
- Confusions: Vajra Nairatmya
Vajrayogini is the principal female deity of the Chakrasamvara Cycle of Tantras. She is represented in many different forms, colours, peaceful, semi-peaceful/wrathful and very wrathful. She can have a single face, many faces, and multiple arms. Vajrayogini is the 'genus'- larger category. Vajravarahi is the 'species' - smaller more specific category or type.
Vajrayogini appearing in the form of Vajravarahi is one of the most popular Tantric female deities found in all traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. In this guise she actually has either a single boar's face, or two faces or heads (with a boar's face), two or more hands and legs, red, yellow or black in colour, standing in a dancing posture, or both legs down.
The special and important iconographic attribute is a sow head (varahi) as a single face, or placed either on her right side of the face (head) or on the top of head. In some traditions she is known as the 'two-faced' Vajrayogini (shal nyi ma). There are many forms of Vajravarahi but to be any of the different types of Vajravarahi she must usually have a boar's face. That being said, there are a number of early and late texts describing a form of Vajravarahi with only one human-like face and no boar's face.
 Vajravarahi (Bari Gyatsa):
"Vajravarahi, with a body red in colour, one face and two hands. The right [hand] holds, in a manner held aloft, a vajra curved knife. The left holds to the heart a blood filled skullcup and carrying a katvanga [in the bend of] the elbow. Having three eyes and bared fangs. Having a crown of five dry human skulls and a necklace of fifty fresh. Adorned with a garland of flowers. Wearing a lower garment of tiger skin. Standing in a dancing manner with the left leg extended in a half [vajrasana] posture." (Konchog Lhundrub).
Jeff Watt 3-2003 [updated 3-2017]