The 8th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Yangdak Heruka (Wyl. yang dag heruka) or Vishuddha (Skt. Viśuddhaheruka) is one of the eight deities of Kagyé, where he corresponds to Enlightened Mind. The wrathful manifestation of Vajrasattva, he is similar to the deity known as Chakrasamvara (Tib. Demchok), who is practised in the Gelug tradition. It is said that all the deities of the Mother Tantras are included in the practice of Yangdak.
A Note on the Name
Yangdak Heruka is often translated back into Sanskrit as Vishuddha Heruka. The Sanskrit term Vishuddha means pure and is usually rendered by Tibetans as Namdak (Wyl. rnam dag). The Tibetan term Yangdak, however in Sanskrit usually translates:
Humkara wrote three sadhanas preserved in the Tibetan Tengyur dedicated to Shri Heruka (D 1674, D 1675 & D 1678). One of these sadhanas (D 1678) was translated into Tibetan by Namkhé Nyingpo. The title of this sadhana contains Yangdak, and it is dedicated to Shri Heruka (Wyl. dpal khrag 'thung). Although this may not be a conclusive argument, it suggests that the name of Yangdak Heruka in Sanskrit is Shri Heruka. Another possibility, which may speak in favour of Vishuddha Heruka is that Shri means glorious and is an epithet used for many deities. This would imply that the deity is simply referred to as Glorious Heruka, while its actual name is different.
- See Kongtrul (2005), pp. 322-323
- Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Tayé, The Treasury of Knowledge: Systems of Buddhist Tantra, Ithaca: Snow Lion, 2005