Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Pratisara (Buddhist Deity) - (Four faces, Eight Hands)

སོ་སོར་འབྲང་མ། ནང་ལྷ། 随求佛母(佛教本尊)
(item no. 68464)
Origin Location Himalayan Region
Lineages Buddhist
Material Silver
Collection Nyingjei Lam
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Pratisara: one of the five Pancha Raksha Goddesses. This form of Pratisara can be either white or yellow.

With four faces and eight arms on the right side she holds a wheel, vajra scepter, arrow and sword. On the left side is a lasso, trident, bow and ax. The attributes in the hands are always listed from the inside out, or lower to upper. Wearing a crown and jewel ornaments she sits in vajra posture atop a single lotus base.

The 'Five Protectors' are a group of five female deities that are the personifications of five early Buddhist texts (sutra), the oldest dated to the 4th century A.D. The personifications are also of the special verbal utterances contained in the sutras - called mantras. These five deities each have specific functions and are directed towards accomplishing worldly welfare and happiness, preventing and surviving natural disasters, curing snakebite, overcoming fear and averting pestilence and epidemics.

There are many forms for each of these five female deities, with multiple heads and arms, and many different traditions of practice. The Pancha Raksha deities are most popular in Nepal but can be found throughout the Himalayas and Central Asia as well as in China, Korea and Japan.

Jeff Watt [added 8-2019]

Secondary Images
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Buddhist Deity: Pancha Raksha Main Page
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Sculpture: Silver (Figurative)
Collection of Nyingjei Lam
Buddhist Deity: Pratisara Main Page
Buddhist Deity: Pancha Raksha (Sculpture)
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