Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Worldly Protector (Buddhist) - Tanma Chunyi

འཇིག་རྟེན་པའི་ལྷ། ནང་ལྷ། 世俗的神(佛教)
(item no. 58537)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Nyingma and Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment, Black Background on Cotton
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Peaceful

Gender: Female

Interpretation / Description

Tan ma chu nyi, the Twelve Tanma Chunyi goddesses of Tibet, believed to have been subjugated by Padmasambhava in the 8th century. Mention of the goddesses can be found in the 14th century Padma Kathang (sheldragma) biography text of Padmasambhava discovered by the Terton Orgyan Lingpa.

The black ground painting is divided into twelve squares with three horizontal squares and four squares vertical. The first vertical row of four squares on the viewer's left side are the Four Dumo (mara) Goddesses. The middle vertical row has the Four Nujin (yaksha) Goddesses. On the right side are the four vertical rows with the four Menmo (medicine) Goddesses.

There are slight variations in the Tibetan inscriptions especially with spellings and order of the names. The other painting, mural and block print comparables also have accompanying inscriptions. The numerous ritual texts all contain slight variations on the names. Although originally of Nyingma origin, the majority of paintings belong to the Gelug tradition and the popularisation of the cult of protector deities by the 5th Dalai Lama Lobzang Gyatso (1617-1682).

---Twelve Goddesses---
The Four Dumo (Mara):
- Dagnyi Chenmo Dorje Kundragma (lion mount)
- Palden Hari Dorje Yema Kyong (mule, kyang?)
- Gang Kyi Yumchen Dorje Kuntu Zang (lion)
- Drogchen Kor Dul Dorje Geg Kyi Tso (camel)

The Four Nujin (Yaksha):
- Gangkar Shame Dorje Yubunma (kyang, deer?)
- Khar Kyung Tsun Dorje Pal Gyi Yum (kyung)
- Serchen Khading Dorje Lumo Gyal (horse)
- Mari Rabjam Dorje Dragmo Gyal (wolf, bear?)

The Four Menmo:
- Kong Tsun Demo Dorje Bod Kham Kyong (tiger)
- Mentsun Ugcho Dorje Yarmo Sil (deer, kyang?)
- Tsanla Loro Dorje Menchigma (buffalo)
- Yuyi Drilbu Dorje Zulema (nine-headed tortoise, otter?)

Jeff Watt 8-2017

Secondary Images
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