The sublime Kurukulle is a female deity who is red in colour. Her practice is one that invokes upon the activity of control and magnetisation. She is in dancing posture and has four arms holding a bow, an arrow made of flowers, a noose and a vajra hook of flowers. Kurukulle is considered to be a manifestation of Red Tara, one of the twenty-one Taras of the old Tara Tantras. Interestingly, her name is actually Kurukulla although her name is popularly pronounced as Kurukulle, due to the Tibetan pronunciation of her mantra and Sanskrit grammar. Kurukulle is also very popular among the Newar (Nepali) Tantric Buddhists in general.
Within the Sakya order of Tibetan Buddhism, Kurukulle is counted amongst “the Three Great Red Ones” or Marchen Korsum. This group of deities is included in the Thirteen Golden Dharmas, a series of practices that were transmitted in ancient times from India and Nepal to Tibet. Takkiraja and Maharakta Ganapati form the rest of the Three Great Red Ones. Takkiraja is depicted in solitary form and his name literally means the King of Desire. He manifests the activity of control and stems directly from the Guhyasamaja Cycle of Tantras. On the other hand, Ganapati Maharakta is related to the Chakrasamvara Cycle of Tantras. In fact, this Ganapati is regarded as an emanation of Avalokiteshvara. These teachings are called Golden Dharmas because they are very precious teachings and also in remembrance of the old days when intrepid Tibetan translators had to travel to India and offer a lot of gold for the teachings obtained from the early Indian masters.
Within the large Sakya collection of sadhanas known as the Drubtab Kuntu, there are five sadhanas for the propitiation of Kurukulle. According to Sakya scholars, the scriptural source for the practice of Kurukulle is found within the Shri Hevajra Mahatantraraja and transmitted in accordance with the tradition of Lalitavajra. It descends down from the Mahasiddha Virupa and the Tibetan translator Drogmi (993-1050 CE).