Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Sipai Gyalmo (Bon Protector) - Riding a Red Mule (dreu marmo)

སྲིད་པའི་རྒྱལ་མོ། བོན་གྱི་སྲུང་མ། 斯贝加母(苯教护法)
(item no. 65269)
Origin Location China
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Bon
Material Ground: Textile Image, Embroidery
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Wrathful

Gender: Female

Interpretation / Description

Sipai Gyalmo (English: Queen of the World).

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). Fierce in appearance, black in color, she has 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. Embroidered works of art such as these were commonly commissioned by Tibetans although made in China.

Jeff Watt 5-2005

Front of Painting
English Translation of Inscription: No inscriptions on the front or back.

Related Items
Exhibition Appearances
Exhibition: Female Buddhas at RMA

Thematic Sets
Bon Deity: Sipai Gyalmo Main Page
Exhibition: Bon, The Magic Word (RMA 2007)
Bon Deity: Sipai Gyalmo Dreu Marmo
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Bon Artworks
Bon Deity: Female
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Textiles
Bon Religion: Protector Deities Main Page
Textile: Embroidered Artwork Main Page