Himalayan Art Resources

Subject: Eyes on the Body (Deities)

Eyes in Himalayan Art

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Description (below)
- Simhamukha (Bodong Tradition)
- Dorje Drolo
- Rahula (with Retinue)
- Indra (eyes/pudendum)
- Others...

Video: A Question About Eyes

There are only a small number of deities that have eyes covering their bodies - torso and limbs. The wrathful meditational deity Simhamukha has five forms which have multiple eyes on the body. These five originate in the Bodong tradition based on the Simhamukha teachings of Bari Lotsawa Rinchen Drag. Dorje Drolo, one of the eight forms of Padmasambhava, has a particular manifestation associated with the Tsig Dun that has the naked body covered in eyes. The Nyingma protector deity Rahula along with his retinue attendant deities are typically adorned with dozens of eyes all over the body.

There are in addition a number of Tibetan local and worldly spirits that can appear with bodies covered in eyes. Some of these are also included as retinue deities for more important protectors such as Pehar, Dorje Setrab, Tsiu Marpo and others.

The Hindu god Indra is sometimes depicted with the body covered in eyes, however this is to stand in, or substitute for, the body actually covered in dozens, scores or hundreds of female pudendum.

Jeff Watt 1-2022

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