Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Worldly Protector (Buddhist) - Drogdze Wangmo

འཇིག་རྟེན་པའི་ལྷ། ནང་ལྷ། 世俗的神(佛教)
(item no. 1053)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Nyingma
Material Ground Mineral Pigment, Black Background on Cotton
Collection Shelley & Donald Rubin
Catalogue # acc.# P2001.17.4
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Wrathful

Gender: Female

Interpretation / Description

Drogdzema, (English: the Powerful Friend): protector of the Nyingma Terma (Treasure) Tradition. This protector deity was popularized in the 18th and 19th centuries by the Mindroling School of Tibetan Buddhism.

"...One Mother, Mistress of the Three Realms, with a body maroon in colour, ferocious and frightful in appearance, with one face and two hands. In the right, eating the heart of an enemy, blood dripping and warm. Reflecting the Three Realms - the left holds a mirror. Wearing an upper garment of white silk, a tiger skin lower garment and a fresh human skin cloak. Dark brown hair hanging downward, earrings, a crown of five dry skulls and a necklace of fifty fresh, a garland of bones and a long necklace; standing haughtily with the left leg extended..." (Min-ling Lochen Dharmashri, 1654-1718. Tibetan source text part II, pp.261-262).

Fierce in appearance, with one face and two hands, she has a gaping mouth, bared fangs and flaccid hanging breasts. The right hand to the mouth holds a fresh heart and in the left upraised a round gold mirror. Adorned with a tiara of five skulls, earrings, necklace, bracelets, anklets and a long garland of severed heads she wears an upper robe of human skin and a tiger pelt as a skirt. Standing with the right leg bent and left straight, above a corpse, sun disc and lotus blossom she is completely surrounded by the flames of wisdom fire. At the left and right are four attendant mamos (female cemetery daemons). Each has one face and two hands holding upraised in the right a human heart and a gold mirror in the left held to the breast. Supported on the left leg with the right drawn up in a dancing posture, atop a corpse, sun and lotus seat they also are surrounded by the flames of wisdom fire.

"The Mistress of the charnel ground mamos, dark maroon, extremely wrathful. In the right [hand] - eating the heart of the enemy, in the left a mirror. White silk as an upper garment, a tiger skirt, a fresh human skin worn in a draped manner, dark brown hair - downward tousled, conch shell earrings, a crown of five skulls, necklace of fresh heads, a garland of bone and a snake necklace. The left leg is straight, on a lotus, sun and corpse seat." (Jamyang Kyentse Wangpo, 1820-1892).

"Owner of all charnel ground places, baneful Mistress of local protectors and dakas, with unsurpassed power of prescience and magical emanation; homage to the yogini Drogdze Wangmo." (Nyingma liturgical verse).

Avowed protectors, also known as worldly deities, have been sworn by an oath to protect both the teachings of the Buddha and his followers. In most situations the protectors were formerly daemons bent on inflicting harm, having been subdued by great teachers such as Padmasambhava, they now serve the altruistic interests of Buddhist ideals.

Jeff Watt 3-2002

Front of Painting
Wylie Transliteration of Inscription: Center: dur khrod lha mo. Counter clockwise starting at middle left: ... ring. de mo ngan na ma. ... na ma. zur ra' skyes. gnod spyin ngan ne ma. shan pa ra mgo.

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Buddhist Protectors, Worldly Deities (Lokapala)
Painting Type: Black Ground Main Page
Buddhist Protectors: Worldly (Nyingma)
Buddhist Protectors: Worldly (Female)
Collection of Shelley & Donald Rubin
Buddhist Deity: Drogdze Wangmo Masterworks
Buddhist Worldly Protector: Drogdze Wangmo Main Page