Gouche on Canvas
79 x 53 cm
Kurukullā is a significant and famous form of Red Tārā. She is considered a Ḍākinī or yoginī who is an emanation of Amitābha Buddha. The goddess is regarded as a powerful enchantress who is a bewitcher of men. The main intention in her practice is not for the gain of material benefits regarded as corrupted, but for the development of Karuṇā, compassion. Kurukullā is also believed to be the offspring of Pancha Dhyāni Buddhas.
Kurukullā’s iconography falls into two categories: one, following Mahayana iconographic traits, and second, following Tantric interpretation. Tibetan and Newar art mostly follow the Tantric variation. There is also the practice of conducting a homa ritual, observed as one of the important practices in the Vajrayāna tradition. This practice intends to cultivate bodhicitta used as a guide to realizing the truth of Voidness or śunyatā. Kurukullā destroys ignorance and transforms egocentric hindrances into energizing insight through her arrows of flowers.
In this painting, Tuladhar has incorporated the Three Great Red Ones representing Kurukullā as the main deity, and at the bottom corners are the deities Rakta Gaṇeśa and Takkirāja. At the top can be found the Goddess of compassion, Ārya Tārā, a guru, and the Kurukullā yantra. The background is vibrant with vermilion color and the goddess is placed in front of the Nava Yoṇi yantra.