Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Shri Devi (Buddhist Protector) - Dudsolma

དཔལ་ལྡན་ལྷ་མོ། 吉祥天母(佛教护法)
(item no. 90185)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Kagyu and Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Wrathful

Gender: Female

Interpretation / Description

Shri Devi (Tibetan: pal dan lha mo): wrathful with one face and four hands holding upraised a sword, a skullcup to the heart, a peg dagger and a trident, riding atop a mule. At the top center is the Heruka form of Shri Hevajra and Vajra Nairatmya.

Shri Devi is a category of Tantric Buddhist deity. Her primary function is as a protector (Dharmapala) and specifically the primary female Wisdom Protector of Himalayan and Tibetan Buddhism. There are dozens of different variations and forms of Shri Devi. She is typically in wrathful appearance following the Indian model of a Rakshasi demon. In most occurrences and uses of Shri Devi, but not all, she is paired with a specific form of Mahakala. Aside from the individual Anuttarayoga Tantras that teach various forms of Shri Devi, the principal texts are the Twenty-five and Fifty Chapter Mahakala Tantras. The textual source for Magzor Gyalmo is the Dakinyagnijihajvala Tantra, Dege Kanjur, volume 98, pp.223-253. It is found in the Nyingma Tantra section, vol.3. TBRC w22084.

Shri Devi is not one entity or personality. Depending on the form of Shri Devi she could be a wrathful emanation of a number of different deities such as Shri Devi Magzor Gyalmo is the wrathful form of Sarasvati. Some forms of Shri Devi with four arms such as Dudusolma are the wrathful form of Shri Lakshmi (Pal Lhamo).

Jeff Watt 8-2014

Related Items
Iconography: Buddhist Iconography Main Page

Thematic Sets
Subject: Masterworks (Female Deity, 女性尊神, ལྷ་མོའི་ཚོགས།)
Buddhist Protector: Shri Devi (Kagyu)
Buddhist Protector: Shri Devi (Masterworks)
Subject: Wrathful Appearance Page
Subject: Protector Deities (Traditions)
Buddhist Protector: Shri Devi Religious Context
Protectors: General Divisions & Classes
Collection: Private 1
Buddhist Protector: Shri Devi, Dudsol Dokam Wangchugma
Subject: Protector Deities Main Page (All Traditions)
Tradition: Kagyu Protectors (Taglung, Drigung & Drugpa)
Collection: SRG Photo Archive
Buddhist Protectors, Wisdom Deities (Dharmapala)