Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Parnashavari (Buddhist Deity) - (three faces, six hands)

རི་ཁྲོད་མ་ལོ་མ་གྱོན་མ། ནང་ལྷ། 叶衣佛母(佛教本尊)
(item no. 24108)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1400 - 1499
Lineages Kagyu and Buddhist
Material Metal, Stone Inset: Coral, Turquoise, Lapis Lazuli
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Semi-Peaceful

Gender: Female

Interpretation / Description

Parnashavari (Tibetan: ri tro ma, lo ma gyun ma. English: the Mountain Ascetic - Wearing Leaves), the goddess who protects from contagious illness. (See the Parnashavari Main Page and Outline Page).

Identified by the leaf motif decorating the upper garment which rules out an identification of Janguli.

Tibetan: Lo ma gyun ma

"...the Bhagavan Parnashavari with a body the colour of pure gold; with three faces, six hands; the main yellow face is slightly smiling and slightly wrathful. The right face is white with a calm expression. The left face is red with an expression of desire; each of the three faces has three eyes. The first right hand holds a vajra at the heart; second, an axe in the manner of striking; third, brandishing an arrow. The first left holds a vajra lasso wound around the fore-finger; second, a fan of new leaves with fruit and flowers hanging; third a bow; adorned with various flowers and jewels. Having an upper garment of red cloth of divine material and a lower garment of new leaves thatched together and adorned with many flowers and fruit. With long hair in a tuft, bound upward by a jeweled white snake and in the prime of youth; the body is very beautiful, dexterous and slightly wrathful. The knee of the right leg is pressing down on the seat and the heel is positioned underneath in support. The left is being raised up, seated in a haughty manner." (Thartse Panchen Namkha Palzang. sGrub Thabs Kun bTus, vol.6, fol.603-607).

Parnashavari belongs to the Kriya class of tantra and is specifically employed in the eradication of contagious disease. Various lineages of practice are found in both the Nyingma and Sarma schools.

Jeff Watt 2-2016

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Buddhist Deity: Parnashavari Main Page
Collection: Christie's, New York (Sculpture. March, 2016)
Tibet: Densatil Monastery Style Sculpture
Buddhist Deity: Parnashavari (Yellow, Three Faces)
Buddhist Deity: Parnashavari (Mitra Tradition)