Himalayan Art Resources

Bon Deity: Yeshe Walmo

Yeshe Walmo | Bon Wrathful Deities

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- Yeshe Walmo Description (below)
- Sipai Gyalmo
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Tibetan: Yeshe Walmo (ye shes dbal mo).

Yeshe Walmo: a healing deity and a protector, an emanation of Sherab Chamma and Sipai Gyalmo, principal female protector deity in the Bon Religion.

Yeshe Walmo has one face and two hands, blue black in colour, wrathful in appearance. In the upraised right hand she holds a flaming sword. The left hand holds a skullcup to the heart. Wearing bone ornaments and heavenly garments she stands on the left leg with the right drawn up atop a prone figure, sun disc and lotus seat, surrounded by the flames of wisdom fire.

Typically there are two common forms of the deity Sipai Gyalmo, Riding a Black Mule and Riding a Red Mule. These two forms are identified by their three heads and six hands. The mules are black or red. The hand objects are different between the two forms. Four celestial beings hold up the hooves of the red mule.

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.

Jeff Watt 5-2005 [updated 7-2018]