Himalayan Art Resources

Subject: Legs of Deities (Numbers)

Legs of Deities | Deities- Physical Features Page

Subjects & Topics:
- Legs of Deities Description (below)
- Deities With No Legs: Rahula, Manju Nagaraksha, Naga Figures, others...
- Trampled Deities
- Gender (male, female, both, neither)
- Three Moods (Peaceful, Semi, Wrathful)
- Confusions
- Others...

Number of Legs:

One leg (1): Ekajati (Drigung Tradition)

Two legs (2): (most deities have only two legs)

Three legs (3): Trailokyavijaya

Four legs (4): Achala, Dvajagrakeyura, Hevajra, Mahakala, Manjushri, Vajrakila, Eight Kagye Heruka, Kunzang Gyalwa Dupa

Six legs (6): Krishna Yamari

Eight legs (8): Hayagriva, Mahottara (some forms)

Sixteen legs (16): Vajrabhairava, Mahottara (some forms)

One Thousand legs (1000): Sitatapatra


Buddhist Iconography: Legs

The majority of Buddhist Tantric deities have two legs. Even deities that are commonly known for having multiple faces will most often have only two legs.

There are only a dozen or so deities that have more than two legs. They can be peaceful, semi-peaceful or wrathful in appearance. They include all of the most popular categories of deities such as Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri, Vajrapani and Tara.

Jeff Watt 6-2015 [updated 6-2017]