Vajrakilaya (Skt. Vajrakīlaya; Tib. རྡོ་རྗེ་ཕུར་པ་, Dorje Phurba, Wyl. rdo rje phur pa) or Vajrakumara (Skt. Vajrakumāra; Tib. རྡོ་རྗེ་གཞོན་ནུ་, Dorje Shönnu; Wyl. rdo rje gzhon nu) — the wrathful heruka Vajrakilaya is the yidam deity who embodies the enlightened activity of all the buddhas and whose practice is famous for being the most powerful for removing obstacles, destroying the forces hostile to compassion and purifying the spiritual pollution so prevalent in this age. Vajrakilaya is one of the eight deities of Kagyé.
Vajrakilaya is a wrathful form of the Buddha Vajrasattva. His distinctive iconographic trait is that he holds the dagger called phurba (see Kīla (Buddhism)). Indeed, the word “Vajrakilaya” designated both the kīla, and its ritual use, and the deity. Vajrakilaya is commonly represented with three faces of different colors in a crown of skulls. The central face is blue, the left is red and the right is white. He also has six arms: two holds the kīla, two hold one vajra each, one holds a flaming snare, and one a trident. He crushes under his feet demons representing the obstacles to spiritual realization.
- Kinley Dorjee, Iconography in Buddhism, Thimphu, Bhutan: Blue Poppy, 2018, 59.
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