Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Hayagriva Main Page

Hayagriva Main Page | Hayagriva Outline Page

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Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Hayagriva Definition (below)
- Hayagriva Outline Page
- Hayagriva (Rinjung Lhantab)
- Simple Form (red or black, one face, two arms)
- Chintamani: one face, two arms, with consort
- Three faces, four arms
- Three Faces, six arms (Secret Accomplishment)
- Three Faces, eight arms
- Heruka: three faces, six arms, with consort (Very Secret)
- Heruka: three faces, six arms with consort (Eight Heruka)
- Black Hayagriva - All
- Black: one face, two hands (Guru Chowang)
- Black: one face, two hands (Nyangral)
- Black: one face, two hands (Dagyal)
- Black, Riding a Tiger
- Black, three faces, six arms
- Yantra
- Hayagriva Early Works
- Masterworks
- Confusions
- Others...

Attributes & Characteristics:
1. Red or black in colour
2. Wrathful in appearance
3. One or three green horse heads on top of the central head

Hayagriva is a Tantric Buddhist meditational deity that can be found in all four of the standard classifications: Kriya, Charya, Yoga and Anuttarayoga. He is associated with the Padma Buddha Family where the Buddha is Amitabha, the Lord is Avalokiteshvara and chief wrathful deity is Hayagriva. According to some traditions Hayagriva is an independent entity while in others he is the wrathful emanation of Amitabha or Avalokiteshvara.

In Hayagriva's most basic form he is typically red in colour, with one face and two hands, peaceful or wrathful in appearance. Hayagriva is common to both the Nyingma and Sarma Schools (Sakya, Kagyu and Gelug) and his practices are found ranging from simple forms to complex deities with multiple faces and arms, inhabiting mandalas accompanied by numerous attendant figures. Hayagriva is one of the principal deities in the Nyingma system of the Eight Heruka (Kagye). There is a variant form of Hayagriva where the three deities Vajrapani, Hayagriva and Garuda, are merged together as one. Hayagriva can also be represented at the top of the handle of a 'kila' peg.

Jeff Watt 2-2003 [updated 7-2013, 5-2017]