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The heruka (Tib. ཧེ་རུ་ཀ་, Wyl. he ru ka) is a masculine deity, wrathful or semi-wrathful, who represents the dynamic union of compassion and skilful means. In the Nyingma tradition the term is often used to refer specifically to Chemchok Heruka or Yangdak.


According to a tantra:

He stands for great compassion.
Ru means the absence of gathering.
Ka means not abiding in anything whatsoever.[1]

In the Zindri, Khenpo Ngakchung says that, according to Patrul Rinpoche, heruka means "one in whom absolute space (he) and primordial wisdom (ka) are united (ru)."[2]


  1. Quoted in Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö, Yeshe Saldrön.
  2. Khenpo Ngawang Pelzang, A Guide to the Words of My Perfect Teacher (Boston: Shambhala, 2004), p. 275.

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