Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Vajrayogini, Vajravarahi Iconography

Vajrayogini, Varahi Main Page

Subjects, Topics & Forms of Vajravarahi
- Iconography
- Vajrayogini Index of Names
- Vajrayogini Outline Page
- Red Vajravarahi
- White Vajravarahi
- Krodha Kali (black) Vajravarahi
- Five Deity Vajravarahi
- Sow Main Face
- Artasiddhi Vajravarahi
- Vajravarahi (face on top of the head)
- Vajravarahi (sow head on the side of the face)
- Vajrayogini, Dancing Posture (no boar's face)
- Six Texts of Vajravarahi (Blue Annals)
- Vajrayogini/Varahi (Early Works)
- Confusions: Vajra Nairatmya
- Others.....

The special and important iconographic attribute is a sow head (varahi) as a single face, or placed either on her right side of the face (head) or on the top of head. In some traditions she is known as the 'two-faced' Vajrayogini (shal nyi ma). There are many forms of Vajravarahi but to be any of the different types of Vajravarahi she must usually have a boar's face. That being said, there are a number of early and late texts describing a form of Vajravarahi with only one human-like face and no boar's face.

[77] Vajravarahi (Bari Gyatsa):
"Vajravarahi, with a body red in colour, one face and two hands. The right [hand] holds, in a manner held aloft, a vajra curved knife. The left holds to the heart a blood filled skullcup and carrying a katvanga [in the bend of] the elbow. Having three eyes and bared fangs. Having a crown of five dry human skulls and a necklace of fifty fresh. Adorned with a garland of flowers. Wearing a lower garment of tiger skin. Standing in a dancing manner with the left leg extended in a half [vajrasana] posture." (Konchog Lhundrub).

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Jeff Watt 3-2003 [updated 3-2017, 2-2020]

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