Hayagriva, in English the “Horse neck” is a Highest Yoga Tantra yidam that is practised by all schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Guru Rinpoche installed the practice in Samye, the first monastic institution in Tibet in the late 8th century. In the 11th century Atisha took Hayagriva as his main yidam. Later Hayagriva was adopted as a tutelary deity of Mongolia because of their love for horses. All the Dalai Lamas have received the empowerment and relied on his powers.
Hayagriva has a very wrathful red body with three faces, six arms and four legs. Each face has three large round eyes staring into the three worlds (past, present and future) and a cavernous mouth with sharp canine teeth. In his upward flowing hair is a green horse. His right face is white, the left is green. The first pair of hands holds a white lotus and a skull cup while embracing his blue-black consort. The second pair holds a vajra hook and sword and the last pair a stick and a noose. His consort is offering him a skull cup filled with blood. He is adorned with the entire wrathful charnel ground vestments and a set of Vajra wings. Both are surrounded by the flames of pristine awareness.
Hayagriva is linked to the process of healing, the empowerment of medicines and longevity, and many Tibetan doctors rely on him for their support.
© Andy Weber 2019
This painting was requested by Tensin Osel Hita, the reincarnation of Lama Yeshe