Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Vajrakila (Iconographic Forms)

Vajrakila Main Page

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Iconographic Forms Description
- Vajrakila Outline Page
- Sakya (Khon Tradition)
- Gauri & Marajit (Khon Tradition Protectors)
- Gyu Lug Purba
- Nine Headed Vajrakila
- Eight Heruka Main Page
- Purba/Peg
- Deities with a Kila Lower Body
- Bon: Purba Drugse Chempa
- Confusions
- Others...

The unique iconographic feature of Vajrakila is the three-sided peg (purba) that is held, pointed downward, with the two principal hands at the heart. Typically Vajrakila has three faces, six hands, four legs and wide outstretched wings behind. He embraces the consort Dipta Chakra who has one face, two hands and two legs.

There are two basic forms of the deity. The first is as described above with the lower body having four legs. An alternate to this is with a lower body shaped as a triangular peg with three blades (purba). In the 'Revealed Treasure' Tradition a variety of other forms developed such as the Nine-headed Vajrakila. There are dozens and dozens of 'Revealed Treasure' Traditions for Vajrakila and it can probably be said that he is the most popular meditaional deity of the Nyingma Tradition. Another deity form sometimes confused for Vajrakila is the deity Guru Dragpur, a form of Padmasambhava, an early Buddhist teacher in Tibet. Numerous wrathful meditational deities and protectors hold the purba (peg) as a hand attribute but they should not be confused with Vajrakila. Examples of these other deities are: Guru Dragpo, Shri Devi Dudsolma of the Naropa tradition, etc.

Database Search: All Objects | Paintings | Mandalas | Sculpture | Purba/Peg

Jeff Watt 9-2019

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