Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Shri Devi (Buddhist Protector) - Magzor Gyalmo

དཔལ་ལྡན་ལྷ་མོ། 吉祥天母(佛教护法)
(item no. 83448)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Gelug and Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Wrathful

Gender: Female

TBRC: W19221

Interpretation / Description

Magzor Gyalmo (Tibetan: Magzor Gyalmo. English: Queen of the Weapon Army).

At the lower center is Shri Devi, Magzor Gyalmo, with one face and two hands, she holds aloft a vajra-tipped stick in the right hand and a skullcup in the left held to the heart. Above the head is a small peacock canopy. She rides a mule; standing in the middle of an ocean of blood. At the lower right and left are two attendants, both with the heads of mythical animals. The first with the head of a makara and the second with the head of a snow lion.

This subject, often commonly ascribed as Shri Devi (who has four hands), is in fact the main attendant to Shri Devi and they are two different deities with different histories and personalities. 'The Queen of the Weapon Army' is the wrathful aspect of the very peaceful goddess Sarasvati (Yang Chenma).

She is always a protector and is also used for divination rituals. Most Tibetan Schools have some form of this deity. It is commonly found on Gelugpa and Sakya paintings. This practice was adopted early on as the special protector for the Dalai Lamas and the Namgyal College of the Tse Potala Palace.

At the top left side is Shakyamuni Buddha. On the right side is Tsongkapa. Below and between the two is Shri Lakshmi (Pal Lhamo). At the middle left and right are Chaturbhuja Lokeshvara and Three-faced Amoghapasha. Both are white in colour

Jeff Watt 3-2016

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