Himalayan Art Resources

Bon Deity: Four Kings

Bon Protector Deities

Subject, Topics & Types:
- Description (below)
- Animal Heads
- Human Heads
- Secondary Figures
- Bon Sarma
- Four Kings (Buddhist)
- Animal Headed Deities
- Masterworks
- Confusions...

Video: Four Guardian Kings (Bon)

The Four Direction, or Guardian, Kings seem to appear only in very late Bon paintings and predominantly in compositions associated with Bon Sarma. The Four Kings can have two different manners of appearance. They can have either the faces of animals or the faces of humans such as with the Four Guardian Kings of Buddhism. In a few painting examples the Four Kings have the same appearance and hand attributes as the Buddhist Kings. It is interesting to observe that the Four Kings are not included in Bon Field of Accumulation paintings.

The Four Guardian Kings of the directions according to the Bon religion:
East: Mikar Sengge Gochen (mi dkar seng ge mgo can). Lion Face.
West: Mimar Paggi Gochen (mi dmar phag gi mgo can). Pig Face.
North: Minag Domgyi Gochen (mi nag dom gyi mgo can). Bear Face.
South: Mi Ngon Druggi Gochen (mi sngon 'brug gi mgo can). Dragon Face.

Jeff Watt [updated 10-2022]