Himalayan Art Resources

Subject: Semi-peaceful/Semi-wrathful Appearance

Eleven Figurative Forms

Subjects & Topics:
- Description (below)
- Eleven Types of Deities
- Iconography Main Page
- Confusions
- Others...

Video: Semi-Peaceful/Semi-Wrathful

Iconographic Forms: (a short list of examples)
- Amaravajra Devi
- Chakrasamvara
- Buddhakapala
- Hevajra
- Janguli
- Kalachakra
- Kurukulla
- Mahamaya
- Manjushri, Black
- Nairatmya
- Parashavari
- Sitatapatra
- Vajravidarana (various forms)
- Vajrayogini/Varahi
- Yogambara
- Others...

The classification of Semi-peaceful/semi-wrathful Appearance (zhi ma khro) has characteristics of both the peaceful and wrathful deities. The face with a frown and torso are slim. The eyes are partially open. The mouth is also slightly open exposing small but noticeable canine teeth. The body is adorned with bone ornaments, tiger and leopard skin. The figure is surrounded by a thin band of wisdom fire.

The classification relates to the early Indian system of dividing the deities of the pantheon between the three aesthetic categories of Deva (god), Rishi (ascetic) and Raksha (demon) in appearance. Peaceful Appearance is Devi. The Semi Appearance classification is Rishi. Wrathful Appearance is Raksha.

The category of Semi Appearance is followed by the Sarma Schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The Nyingma Tradition and the Bon Religion adhere to the categorization of Peaceful and Wrathful (zhi khro).

Jeff Watt 6-2015 [updated 5-2017]