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Indian Adept: Dombi Heruka Religious Context

Dombi Heruka Main Page

Subjects, Topics & Sets:
- Religious Context
- Dombi Heruka Biography
- Virupa
- Identifiable Mahasiddhas
- Confusions with Incarnation Lineages
- Mahasiddha Main Page
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Dombi Heruka is commonly mistaken for another mahasiddha with a similar name but different appearance, Dombhipa the washer-man, also from the set of Eighty-four Mahasiddhas. The mahasiddha form of Je Tsongkapa in his depiction as a siddha riding a tiger and carrying a sword in the upraised right hand is often mistaken for Dombi Heruka of the Eighty-four Mahasiddhas.

Although originally belonging to the 'Sarma' New Traditions of Tibetan Buddhism beginning in the 11th century, later Nyingmapas adopted Dombhi Heruka into the new 'Terma' compilations of the life-story of Padmasambhava making both Dombi Heruka and Virupa incarnations/emanations of Padmasambhava.

There are numerous Tibetan incarnation lineages that claim Dombi Heruka as a previous incarnation. The most famous of these are the Gelugpa Longdol Lama, the Karma Kagyu Tai Situpa and the Surmang Trungpa Tulku. Longdol Lama also includes Marpa Chokyi Lodro which would also make Marpa as a later incarnation of Dombhi Heruka. Tai Situ followers also claim that he is an incarnation of the Bodhisattva Maitreya and Jonang Taranata, thus making Dombi Heruka an incarnation of Maitreya and Jonang Taranata an additional later incarnation of Dombi Heruka.

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Jeff Watt 1-2020