Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Sipai Gyalmo (Bon Protector) - Riding a Bird (two hands)

སྲིད་པའི་རྒྱལ་མོ། བོན་གྱི་སྲུང་མ། 斯贝加母(苯教护法)
(item no. 100658)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Bon
Material Ground Mineral Pigment, Black Background on Cotton
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Wrathful

Gender: Female

Interpretation / Description

Sipai Gyalmo Riding a Bird. There are seven or more different forms of Sipai Gyalmo. This form is wrathful in appearance, dark blue in colour, with one face and two hands, holding a lasso and a vase, riding atop a bird.

Sipai Gyalmo (Queen of the World) is both a meditational deity and a protector. She has six principal manifestations (white, yellow, red, black, blue and dark brown) and twenty-eight retinue attendant figures.

In the Bon religion the Queen of the World is the most wrathful manifestation of the peaceful deity Loving Mother of Wisdom (T. Sherab Chamma). In her main form she is fierce in appearance, black in color, with three faces and six arms holding weapons and implements of power and control. The three right hands hold a victory banner, flaming sword and a peg. The left hands hold a trident, svastika wand, and a skullcup filled with blood. Each of these symbolically represents cutting the knots of illusion and rooting out the three poisons of greed, anger and delusion. Riding on a red mule, she sits atop a flayed human skin symbolizing impermanence while the brightly burning flames of wisdom fire surround her.

The Queen of the World is both a meditational deity and a protector. She is one of the most frequently propitiated figures in the Bon religion, and extends her protection to both religious practitioners and common people. Though horrific and wrathful in form she embodies the qualities of wisdom and compassion.

Jeff Watt [2-2005]

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Publication: A Tale of Thangkas (Bon Group)
Publication: A Tale of Thangkas
Bon Deity: Sipai Gyalmo Main Page
Bon Deity: Sipai Gyalmo (Riding a Bird)