Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Shri Vishuddha Heruka (Eight Pronouncement)

Eight Heruka Main Page

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Description (below)
- Sakya: HAR #31922, 31930, 58221, 3314551
- Nyingma
- Masterworks
- Confusions
- Others

Video: Shri Vishuddha Heruka

Shri Vishuddha Heruka, Palchen Dragtung belongs to the group of the Eight Pronouncement deities and specifically the first five wisdom deities. Mahottara Heruka (Chemchog) is the central wrathful figure of the One Hundred Peaceful and Wrathful Deities of the Guhyagarbha Tantra.

Hand Attributes:
- Right Hands: vajra, katvanga, hand drum
- Left Hands: bell, skullcup, lasso

The only way that the two deities Mahottara and Shri Vishuddha Heruka, in a three-faced depiction, can be differentiated is by context or painted composition within a greater context. They can both appear as blue in colour, wrathful in appearance, and holding the identical hand attributes. There are some 'Revealed Treasure' forms of Shri Heruka as a secondary figure where the hand objects can be different from the standard descriptions.

Visual Context:
- Shri Heruka & Eight Deity Mandala
- Eight Pronouncement Heruka & 725 Deity Mandala
- Secondary Figure in Revealed Treasure Compositions

Vishuddha Heruka
'... Krodharaja, Bhagavan Vajra Heruka, blue-black, with three faces and six hands, the right face is white, left red, middle blue. The three right [hands hold] a vajra, katvanga and drum. The left [hold] a bell, skullcup and lasso of intestines. With vajra garuda wings unfurled [behind], bared teeth, three round red eyes, brown hair bristling upwards. Wearing a vast elephant hide, a tiger skin as a lower garment, adorned with white, red, green and black snakes. The hair of the head bound with a yellow [snake], the arms and legs also adorned. With five skulls as a crown [and] a necklace of fifty fresh heads...' (Collection of All Methods. Volume 13, folio 108).

Jeff Watt [updated 3-2023]