Buddhakapala Main Page | Tantra Classification | Mandala Technical Glossary
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- Buddhakapala Definition (below)
- Heruka Buddhakapala
- With a Red Consort
- With a Blue Consort
- Eight Deity Mandala
- Twenty-five Deity Mandala
Buddhakapala, meaning the skull of the enlightened one, is a meditational deity belonging to the Wisdom Class, or Mother Tnatra, of Anuttarayoga Tantra of Tantric Buddhism.
There are several different forms of Buddhakapala. Sometimes he appears with a consort and sometimes without. He can appear in single aspect or with a mandala of eight or twenty-five retinue deities.
In the most basic iconographic form Buddhakapala appears as described below.
"Buddhakapala is blue with one face and four arms. The right two hold a double-sided drum and a curved knife. The left two hold a skullcup and a katvanga staff. Having three eyes and the pile of hair adorned with a vishva-vajra and crescent moon, a crown of five dry skulls and a necklace of fifty wet, adorned with the five mudras, an elephant hide as a lower garment, standing in a dancing manner, half vajra, expressing the nine moods of dance. [He] embraces the consort Vishvasukha Matri, red, [holding] in the right a curved knife and a skullcup in the left embracing the Lord, surrounded by the eight goddesses."
Jeff Watt 1-2012 [updated 4-2017]