Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Hayagriva Physical Appearance

Hayagriva Iconography

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Physical Appearance Description
- Peaceful/semi-peaceful Appearance
- Solitary Figure (red or black)
- Two Figures (red)
- Three faces, four arms
- Three Faces, six arms (red or black)
- Three Faces, six arms with consort
- Three Faces, eight arms
- Five Faces & sixteen arms
- Black Hayagriva (All)
- Confusions: Mahakala Riding a Tiger, Rakta Yamari, Mahabala
- Others...

Names, Characteristics & Colour:
- Lineage Name
- Text Compendium Name
- Red, black or white colour
- Wrathful in appearance
- One or three green horse heads on top of the central head
- Others...

There are some traditions of Hayagriva that characterize the deity as having four faces and eight arms. In these cases the green horse head on the top of the central face is counted as a fourth face.

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Jeff Watt 10-2020