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The Buddhist deity Palden Lhamo
Place of Origin: Tibet
Date: 1700-1800
Object Name: Thangka
Materials: Colors on cotton
Dimensions: H. 37 in x W. 27 in, H. 94 cm x W. 68.6 cm (image), H. 69 1/2 in x W. 45 1/2, H 176.5 cm x W. 115.5 cm (overall)
Credit Line: The Avery Brundage Collection
Department: Himalayan Art
Collection: Painting
Object Number: B62D32
On Display: No

Description

Label:

Palden Lhamo, the “Glorious Goddess,” is the special protectress of the Dalai Lamas, as well as the only female deity among the Eight Guardians of the Law, fierce deities sworn to protect Buddhism. She rides on a mule in a sea of blood that represents samsara, the endless cycle of rebirth. Along with her staff, she carries a blood-filled skull bowl which she transforms into the nectar of immortality (amrita). In keeping with her nature as a fierce deity, Lhamo’s hair stands on end, and she is gnawing on a figure writhing between her teeth.

The lion-headed Simhavaktra Dakini (see the large sculpture at the center of this gallery) and her sister, the crocodileheaded Makaravaktra Dakini, appear to either side of Lhamo; they are her constant companions and assistants.

Above Palden Lhamo sits Tsongkhapa, founder of the Gelug Order of Himalayan Buddhist monks. Yamantaka, the Conqueror of Death, appears here, too; a fierce form of the bodhisattva of wisdom Manjushri, he is an important deity visualized during meditation in Gelug monasteries.


Label:

Palden Lhamo, the “Glorious Goddess,” is the special protectress of the Dalai Lamas, as well as the only female deity among the Eight Guardians of the Law, fierce deities sworn to protect Buddhism. She rides on a mule in a sea of blood that represents samsara, the endless cycle of rebirth. Along with her staff, she carries a blood-filled skull bowl which she transforms into the nectar of immortality (amrita). In keeping with her nature as a fierce deity, Lhamo’s hair stands on end, and she is gnawing on a figure writhing between her teeth.

The lion-headed Simhavaktra Dakini (see the large sculpture at the center of this gallery) and her sister, the crocodileheaded Makaravaktra Dakini, appear to either side of Lhamo; they are her constant companions and assistants.

Above Palden Lhamo sits Tsongkhapa, founder of the Gelug Order of Himalayan Buddhist monks. Yamantaka, the Conqueror of Death, appears here, too; a fierce form of the bodhisattva of wisdom Manjushri, he is an important deity visualized during meditation in Gelug monasteries.