Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Vajrayogini, Vajravarahi Iconography

Vajrayogini, Varahi Main Page

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Description (below)
- Best Examples
- Index of Names
- Outline Page
- Standing Vajravarahi
- Dancing Vajravarahi
- Seated Vajravarahi
- Iconographic Variations
- Confusions: Vajra Nairatmya, Sow Faced Deities
- Others.....

- Forms of Vajrayogini
- Vajrayogini/varahi: Standing
- Naro Khechari of the Naropa Tradition
- Vajravarahi: Vajra Sow
- Vajravarahi Mandala (HAR #94)
- Sow Faced Deities
- Vajravarahi: Iconographic Variations (HAR on Patreon)
- Masterwork: HAR 65858

Types & Traditions:
- Red Vajravarahi
- White Vajravarahi
- Black (Krodha Kali) Vajravarahi
- Five Deity Vajravarahi
- 37 Deity Mandala
- Sow Main Face
- Artasiddhi Vajravarahi
- Rinjung Lhantab Forms
- Others...

- Red
- Black
- White
- Other...

The special iconographic attribute of Vajravarahi is a sow head (varahi) as a single central 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 different forms of Vajravarahi and most types have a boar's face. There are a number of traditions where neither the iconography nor the literature prescribe a sows head. In these cases the name Vajravarahi is used as a synonym for Vajrayogini.

Vajrayogini/varahi can be categorized in a number of different ways with either an emphasis on art history, iconography or religious context. She can be divided into colour, posture or types of head(s).

[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).

Database Search: All Objects | Painting | Sculpture

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

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