There are various forms of Dorje Legpa (rDo rJe Legs pa – Vajra Sadhu). He may be seen riding a snowlion, or a goat; with three heads or one; with six arms or two; and with a metal helmet or without. Here he is depicted with one face and two arms, riding a goat and wearing a helmet. He holds a vajra (rDo rJe) above his head in his right hand made of meteoric iron and in his left hand he holds a teng-ar (’phreng ba) made of miniature skulls.
Dorje Legpa means ‘Benign Thunderbolt’. He is understood as being the most ‘encouraging’ and ‘kindly’ of the Ma Za Dor Sum (ma za rDo gSum) – the three main protectors of the Nyingma tradition. He was oathbound by Padmasambhava to protect Dharma. The goat is an animal that safely and fearlessly traverses the steep and craggy mountains, braving the terrifying heights and dangers of such a terrain – an analogy for the dangers of the Tantric path. The twisted horns of the goat are a symbol of non-duality.