Himalayan Art Resources

Subject: Stacked Deities Page

Eleven Types of Deities

Subjects, Types & Topics:
- Description (below)
- Avalokiteshvara, Hari Hari Hari
- Ganapati, Ragavajra (Atisha Tradition)
- Mahottara Heruka
- Siddha Lakshmi
- Vajrapani: Three Combined Deities
- Hayagriva/Garuda/Guru Dragpo Combined
- Masterworks
- Confusions: Layered Appearance, Body Mandala
- Others...

Video: Stacked Deities

Study Topics:
- Descriptive Appearance & Recognition
- Religious Traditions
- Painting & Sculpture Styles

Stacked deities are an unusual iconographic form where two or more deities are stacked one above the other. Often they are sitting around the neck of the deity below or standing on the shoulders. This type of stacked configuration of deities can easily be confused with Layered Appearance and Body Mandala depictions. With Buddhist figurative art it is very common to find a small buddha figure depicted on the crown of the head or atop the central head of a complex deity. This type of buddha addition is not intended to be included among the group of stacked figures. Stacked deities are found in both Hindu, Bon and Buddhist iconography and belong to the set of Eleven Types of Deities based on appearance.

Jeff Watt 2-2016 [updated 7-2018, 2-2022]

(The images below are only a selection of examples from the links above).