Himalayan Art Resources

Definition: Heruka (siddha) Appearance

Eleven Figurative Forms

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Description (below)
- Mahasiddha: Three Types of Appearance
- Heruka Meaning & Forms
- Tibetans with Siddha Appearance
- Identifiable Mahasiddhas
- Masterworks
- Confusions
- Others...

[3] Siddha (Heruka)
The Tantric Siddha appearance, synonymous with heruka appearance, generally described as dressed in bone ornaments and often depicted in contrived and contorted postures, is the best known and the most recognizable of the three different appearances. It is only the last of the three types of appearance where the Tantric Siddha wears the bone ornaments, tiger skins, and such, that have what is known as 'mahasiddha appearance' as described in Buddhist Tantric literature such as the Chakrasamvara and Hevajra Tantras. The appearance of the siddha in these particular instances is modeled after the wrathful or semi-wrathful deity, Chakrasamvara or Hevajra, and is known as taking on the appearance of the Heruka. The Heruka is the generic name used for a one faced, two-armed form of either Chakrasamvara, Hevajra, or a number of other semi-wrathful Yoganiruttara (Anuttarayoga) deities.

Jeff Watt 4-2006 [updated 5-2017, 10-2020]

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