Passionate Love Emanation of Red Tara 


Fiery Kurukulla dances in abandoned ecstasy, passionate loving wisdom released from the bonds of limited egoic perception, symbolized by the prostrate body at Her left foot. She is hearty, lustful and fresh – Dakini song ‘Ah-hah-hah’ emanates from her open, pouting mouth. Her pointed white teeth reveal Her capacity to tear through illusion. Her wild hair flies upward and from Her body, ruby red rays of bliss light emanate. She is all attractive and entirely enchanting, pulsing with playful joy. This shimmering red Dakini blesses through subjugation and pacification, enchanting and making pliable that which her votary desires. The world, as magical display of wisdom energy, is Hers to play with and She is a giver of both mundane and Spiritual reward and, as such, is invoked at the start of business and romantic ventures.  

In Her four arms, Kurukulla holds a bow made of flowers, a flower arrow tipped with a red utpala flower, a flower hook and a flower noose. Kurukulla’s attributes bind beings to Her Enlightened Will as they are pierced by passionate longing. Her energy, as well as being enchanting, grants long life and various Siddhis.  Kururkulla is said to manifest from Red Tara – Tarobhava Kurukulla – and is associated with Amitabha, Buddha of the Western direction and ruler of the Lotus family. 

At the base of the thangka is an offering array of three skull caps. On either side of the central cup are offerings of blue amrit (nectar) and red blood, symbolizing male (blue) and female (red) bodhichitta – compassionate essence as esoteric substance. The central skull contains a wrathful offering of the five senses. The deity is offered all five senses in the forms of the heart (touch), the eyes (sight), the ears (sound), the nose (smell), and the tongue (taste).  

In his Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs, Robert Beer writes of the arrow that pierces the heart from above: 

“The sixth sense faculty of consciousness is represented by a silken arrow penetrating the heart. This silk arrow symbolizes the body, speech, and mind of the deity as empowering the organs of the five senses. The arrow’s shaft represents the central channel or body of the deity; the arrow’s flight and silk banner, the mantra or speech of the deity; and the arrow’s tip penetrating into the heart represents the mind of the deity, manifesting as the most subtle consciousness of the ‘indestructible drop’ at the heart center.” 

Kurukulla’s magical landscape abounds with flowing waterfalls, graceful trees, flowers, astonishing rock formations, mountains and rolling clouds. In the upper right corner an auspicious dragon appears from behind clouds. Dragons are one of the four supernatural animals in Buddhism. 

Narasimha (2016)

Kurukulla print | 21 inches x 30 inches | $325