Tibet, Chakrasamvara – Sahaja Heruka (4)

Late 15th century, Tibet, Chakrasamvara, gilt copper with pigment and stone inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

This form of the deity has one head and two arms and stands with the consort, Vajrayogini, their legs in the same position (as in the Newar tradition).

His hair is tied in a chignon topped with a wish-granting jewel and he usually has a visvajra and a crescent moon in his headdress.

She holds a skull cup and a flaying knife, and wears a leopard skin loin cloth and a garland of skulls; he wears a tiger skin and a garland of freshly severed heads and holds a vajra sceptre and a bell across her back.

Undated, Tibet, Chakrasamvara, copper alloy with pigment and cold gold, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

On this more archaic work the low skull-tiara reveals a large visvajra in his headdress and a small crescent moon to his left-hand side.

16th century, Tibet, Chakrasamvara, gilt copper, is or was at the gTsug Lakhang, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

His consort has both legs around his waist, a Tibetan variant attributed to the teachings of various Mahasiddhas such as Luipa and Maitripa (as explained by John C. Huntington and Dina Bangdel in The Circle of Bliss, Serindia Publications, Chicago, 2003).

Between the 15th and 17th century it is not uncommon for deities, whether seated or standing, to have billowing scarves forming an arch around them.

Undated (16th-17th century?), Tibet, Chakrasamvara, gilt metal and pigment, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

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