Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Hevajra (Oral Instruction)

Hevajra Forms

--- Hevajra Tantra Iconographic Form
--- 'Oral Instruction' Iconographic Form
--- Non-standard Iconographic Form
--- Nairatmya Standing on the Right Leg

The Hevajra Tantra form of the male deity Hevajra, with eight faces, sixteen arms and four legs, is as described in the root literature. The 'Oral Instruction' Lineage Hevajra is as described in the Margapala literature belonging to the tradition of the mahasiddha Virupa.

The visual difference between the Hevajra Tantra depiction of the deity and the 'Oral Instruction Lineage' version is primarily in the arrangement of the arms and the legs. Observing the position of the legs is the easiest to recognize and to determine an identification. The 'Oral Instruction' Hevajra has the two right legs extended downward and the two left legs raised up in a dancing posture. The Hevajra Tantra form is standing on the first right and left legs and has the second right and left legs raised in a dancing stance.

This is a controversial topic within both the Sakya School as a whole and the various Margapala traditions.

Jeff Watt 12-2019