Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Buddhakapala Main Page

Buddhakapala Main Page | Tantra Classification | Mandala Technical Glossary

Database Search: All Images

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Buddhakapala Definition (below)
- Heruka Buddhakapala
- With a Red Consort
- With a Blue Consort
- Eight Deity Mandala
- Twenty-five Deity Mandala
- Confusions
- Others...

Buddhakapala, meaning the skull of the enlightened one, is a meditational deity belonging to the Wisdom Class, or Mother Tnatra, of Anuttarayoga Tantra of Tantric Buddhism.

There are several different forms of Buddhakapala. Sometimes he appears with a consort and sometimes without. He can appear in single aspect or with a mandala of eight or twenty-five retinue deities.

In the most basic iconographic form Buddhakapala appears as described below.

"Buddhakapala is blue with one face and four arms. The right two hold a double-sided drum and a curved knife. The left two hold a skullcup and a katvanga staff. Having three eyes and the pile of hair adorned with a vishva-vajra and crescent moon, a crown of five dry skulls and a necklace of fifty wet, adorned with the five mudras, an elephant hide as a lower garment, standing in a dancing manner, half vajra, expressing the nine moods of dance. [He] embraces the consort Vishvasukha Matri, red, [holding] in the right a curved knife and a skullcup in the left embracing the Lord, surrounded by the eight goddesses."

Jeff Watt 1-2012 [updated 4-2017]

Read more at TBRC