Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Hayagriva 'Very Secret' (Padma Ishvara)

Hayagriva Iconography

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Padma Ishvara Description (below)
- Hayagriva Iconography
- 'Very Secret' (Sakya Tradition)
- 'Very Secret' (Sera Tradition)
- Protector: Begtse Chen
- Masterworks
- Confusions: Eight Pronouncement Hayagriva, Lama Gongdu Hayagriva
- Others...

Padma Ishvara has three faces, six hand, four legs and a pair of wings. The main face is red, right white and left green. The right hands hold a lotus, hook and stick. The left hands hold a skullcup, lasso and sword. The consort has one face and two hands, blue in colour, holding a heart and skullcup.

The deity Begtse Chen is regarded as the special protector deity associated with Padma Ishvara. Often the origin narratives and lineages of the two deities have become conflated and confused.

Hayagriva 'Very Secret' Lineage from India: Vajradhara, Mahadeva, Nyi Od Dragpa, Dawa Nagpo, Shridhara Krashu, Nyen Lotsawa Dharma Drag, Khau Chokyi Gyaltsen, Sachen Kunga Nyingpo (1092-1158), etc.

Jeff Watt 10-2020


The Cults of Peaceful and Wrathful Avalokitesvara at Sera Monastery. Jose Ignacio Cabezon. University of California, Santa Barbara. Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (Guanyin) and Modern Society. Proceedings of the Fifth Chung-Hwa International Conference on Buddhism. Edited nu William, Magee and Yi-hsun Huang. 2007.