Tibet, Hevajra (8)

14th-15th century, Tibet, Hevajra and Nairatmya, gilt copper alloy with pigment and stones, at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore (USA).

Guhyasamaja Hevajra has 8 heads (2 stacks of 4 in this case), 16 arms, 4 legs, and is always depicted with his consort, Vajranairatmya. He holds skull cups filled with animals on one side and deities on the other.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Hevajra, wood with gilding and pigment, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s, lot 563, The Connoisseur’s Collection, 30th October 2007.

The heads are often arranged in a circle of seven plus one.

16th century, Tibet, Hevajra, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Christie’s, sale 14259, Art d’Asie, Paris.

The couple stands in a dancing posture and treads on four Hindu deities or four demons.

18th century, Tibet, Hevajra (retinue figure?), bronze with silver eyes, private collection, photo on Hardt   .

This figure looks like heruka Hevajra but holds a flaying knife instead of a vajra sceptre in his right hand. He stands alone, on one foot, trampling a victim, and has a skull cup in his left hand and a ritual staff in the crook of his left arm.

Tibet, Hevajra (7)

15th century, Central Tibet, Hevajra, gilt copper alloy with pigment, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

Kapaladhara Hevajra, in embrace with his consort, his eight heads adorned with a skull crown, his 16 hands holding skull cups, two of his four legs treading on two victims (missing here).

The skull cups in his main hands, crossed behind Nairatmya’s back, hold an elephant and a female entity, possibly Vasudhara, goddess of wealth. The remaining cups in his right hands hold other animals (usually horse, donkey, bull, camel, cat and the mythical sharabha), and a man. Those in his left hands hold other gods (of Water, Fire, Air, the Moon, the Sun, Earth, Death).

15th century, Tibet, Hevajra, gilt metal with turquoise and coral inlay, Sonam Gyaltsen and atelier, private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources, item 21450.

In most cases Nairatmya has one leg around his waist.

16th century, Tibet, Hevajra and consort, private collection, photo by Andrew Lau for Hollywood Galleries

Labelled ’16th century, Tibet, protective deity, bronze’, at the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena (USA).

Tibet, Hevajra (6)

13th century, Tibet, Hevajra and consort, bronze, private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources

An early example of guhyasamaja Hevajra in his kapaladhara aspect particularly popular in Tibet. Typically, he has eight heads, four legs, and sixteen hands, in which he holds skull cups containing various creatures. His main hands embrace his consort, Nairatmya, who has one head and two hands.

15th century, Tibet, Hevajra, gilt bronze, private collection, photo on Christie’s

On some works all four legs crush a victim.

Circa 15th century, Tibet, Hevajra and consort, silver with gold inlay, private collection, photo on Christie’s

On others, one leg is up, as on this rare silver example (labelled ‘Nepal’ on Himalayan Art Resources, item 8282).

On most sculptures his heads are arranged in a circle of seven plus one topped with a visvajra.

Undated, Tibet, Hevajra, gilt metal, private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources, item 8237.

16th century, Tibet, Hevajra and consort, bronze, private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources item 20704 .

Alternatively, his two left legs are up.

17th century, Tibet, Hevajra, gilt bronze with traces of polychromy, private collection, photo on PBA Auctions

Whereas here, his two back legs are up.

Tibet, Hevajra (5)

One of the four Guhyasamaja entities, Shri Hevajra has a bodhisattva appearance with a mixture of peaceful and wrathful ornaments and attributes.

Undated (circa 13th century), Tibet, Hevajra, brass, private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources.

In his sahaja heruka form, he has one head with three eyes, two hands in which he holds a vajra sceptre and a skull cup, two legs, often standing on one or two victims. He wears a garland of severed heads and normally has a ritual staff in the crook of his left arm.

This Pala-style figure wears a tiger skin loin cloth that fits tightly like a pair of shorts, in the Indian fashion, held in place with a festooned belt.

Undated, Tibet, Heruka Hevajra, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources.

A protector against the demons (maras), heruka Hevajra always stands alone, one foot on one or several victims the other in the air (like a dakini), his hair tied in a mitre-like bunch, holding a vajra sceptre in his right hand and a skull cup in the other. The above does a pointing gesture with his left hand and has also been described as a 10th century Nepalese sculpture of Vajrapani, who normally stands on both feet. He wears a tiger skin loin cloth, snake adornments and a low tiara.

Circa 17th century, Tibet, Hevajra (labelled Vajradaka), bronze, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (USA).

He normally has a ritual staff propped against his left arm, often missing from sculptures, and may wear a skull crown, bone jewellery, a garland of severed heads.

16th or 17th century, (originally labelled 13th-14th century), Guhyasamaja Hevajra, Tibet, copper alloy with copper and silver inlay and pigments, at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York (USA).

Always in embrace with Nairatmya, Guhyasamaja Hevajra has 8 heads, each with three eyes, 16 hands in which he holds skull cups containing animals and human figures (deities), 4 legs, in a dancing posture, two of his feet trampling four victims (Hindu gods).

.

The heads may be stacked (4+3+1) or arranged in a circle of 4 at the front and 4 at the back, or 7+1 on top as is the case here. There is an effigy of Akshobhya in his headdress.

Circa 15th century, Tibet, Hevajra, bronze (brass) with silver inlay and pigments, private collection, photo by Rossi & Rossi.

Nairatmya has one head with three eyes, two legs and two hands, in which she holds a flaying knife and a skull cup. She wears a bone apron.

15th c. pos., Tibet, Hevajra, gilt bronze, 15 cm, Hermitage

Possibly 15th century, Tibet, Hevajra, gilt bronze (copper alloy), at the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg (Russia).

This is an example of stacked heads. According to textual sources, the skull cups in his right hands contain a horse, a donkey, a bull, a camel, a man, a sharabha, a cat or an owl, and an elephant in the main right hand. Those in his left hands contain the god of water, the god of fire, the god of air, the god of the Moon, the god of the Sun, Yama, the god of wealth, and the god of Earth in the main hand (but the order may vary).

17th century, Tibet, Hevajra, wood, at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York (USA).

 

Tibet, Hevajra (4)

16th century, Tibet, Hevajra, gilt copper alloy, photo from the Werner Forman Archive.

This unusual work depicts Hevajra with three heads, eight arms, two legs, in embrace with Nairatmya, who has one head and two arms. He holds a vajra sceptre and a bell in his main hands (across her back), a bow and an arrow, the hide of an elephant (only the front feet visible) and another two attributes in the other hands.

Circa 17th century, Tibet, Hevajra, gilt copper alloy with pigment, at the Indian Museum of Kolkata (India).

Most Tibetan metal sculptures depict him with eight heads, 16 hands, 4 legs, standing in embrace with the consort.

17th century, Tibet, Hevajra, gilt copper alloy, at the British Museum in London (UK).

He holds skull cups filled with small figures representing deities and animals (see previous post), she has one head and two hands, in which she holds a flaying knife and a skull cup. There is a variant, in which he holds ritual implements instead of skull cups.

18th century, same as before, photo from the Forman Werner Archive.

The heads are usually arranged in a circle of seven (4 at the back, 3 at the front) plus one on top, all of them with three eyes and a skull crown.

Hevajra, Tibet, 16th c., gilt c.a.+ stones, Guimet

16th century, Tibet, meditational deity Hevajra and consort, gilt copper alloy inlaid with stones, pigments, at the Musée Guimet in Paris (France).

Undated, Tibet, Hevajra, private collection, photo by Holly Auctions.

The two deities stand on Black Bhairava (ego) and red Kalaratri (ignorance).

Undated, Tibet, Hevajra, at the Capital Museum in Beijing, published on Himalayan Art Resources, item 59845.

 

Tibet, Hevajra (3)

When depicted in embrace with his consort,  Hevajra may have 1 to 8 heads, 2 to 4 legs, 2 to 16 hands.

15th century, Tibet, Hevajra, gilt metal, photo by Walter Arader, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

They both wear bone jewellery and skull crowns, she has a Chinese-style bone apron (with raining jewel pendants in this case) and a garland of skull, he has a garland of fifty severed human heads.

16th century, Tibet, Hevajra, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Nagel.

She has a leg around his waist and holds a skull cup and a flaying knife.

Circa 16th century?, Tibet, Hevajra, gilt copper, at the Fondation Alain Bordier in Gruyère (Switzerland).

In his guhyasamaja form, the skull cups in his left hand hold the god of water, the god of fire, the god of air, the god of the Moon, the god of the Sun, the god of Earth, Yama, the lord of wealth, and the skull cups in his right hands hold a horse, a donkey, a bull, a camel, a cat or an owl, an elephant, a man and a mythical creature  called sharabha (see the page on animals and mythical creatures at the top of the left hand column of this blog).

17th c. cir., Tibet, Hevajra, gilt c.a.+pig.+stones, Sakya in Shigatse, dated 15th-17th c., Huntington

15th-17th century, Tibet, Hevajra, gilt copper alloy with pigment and stone inlay, is or was at the Sakya monastery in Shigatse (Tibet), photo from the Huntington Archive.

Their hair is dyed with red pigment as is the case for most deities with a wrathful appearance.

Tibet, Hevajra (2)

In his heruka aspect Hevajra is depicted alone, with one to three heads, each with three eyes, two hands usually holding a skull cup and a vajra, a staff resting on his left shoulder, two legs, one foot standing on a victim, adorned with a garland of severed heads, a skull crown, bone ornaments, his hair tied in a bunch.

14th century, Tibet, copper alloy, cold gold and pigment, photo by Christie's.

14th century, Tibet, copper alloy, cold gold and pigment, photo by Christie’s (labelled ‘India’ on Himalayan Art Resources, item 8735).

11th-12th century, Tibet, copper alloy, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

11th-12th century, Tibet, copper alloy, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

On the above sculpture he stands on various victims piled up on the lotus base.