Tibet, Chakrasamvara – Sahaja Heruka (3)

The main deity of Yoga tantra and heruka (semi-wrathful god), Chakrasamvara is nearly always represented with his consort, Vajravarahi. He may have one or four head, two or twelve hands, and two legs.

In the Sahaja Heruka form, Chakrasamvara holds a thunderbolt or vajra and a (vajra-handled) bell or ghanta in his hands; his consort, Vajravarahi, holds a skull cup and a flaying knife or two vajras. They are otherwise similar to his one-head two-hand form.

12th century circa, Central Tibet, copper alloy and pigments, from the Huntington Archive.

12th century circa, Central Tibet, copper alloy and pigments, from the Huntington Archive.

Here he has one face with three eyes and a moustache, orange flaming hair, and two hands holding a bell and thunderbolt or vajra. He is adorned with jewellery, a skull crown held with flowing ribbons, a garland of 50 freshly severed heads, a tiger skin loin cloth held in place with a cloth belt falling to the ground, and a celestial scarf forming some loops at shoulder level and with V-shape ends at hip level. He is standing on Kalaratri and Bhairava. His consort has one leg wrapped around his waist. She is wearing a bone apron and the same adornments and carries the same implements in her hands.

14th century, Tibet, copper alloy, cold cold, stone inlay, private collection.

14th century, Tibet, copper alloy, cold cold, stone inlay, private collection.

14th century, Tibet, at the Rubin Museum of Art.

14th century, Tibet, at the Rubin Museum of Art.

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