Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Protector: Shri Devi & Bernagchen

Shri Devi & Bernagchen Main Page | Shri Devi Main Page

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Shri Devi and Bernagchen Description (below)
- Rangjung Gyalmo Main Page
- Bernagchen Main Page
- Bamro Yab-Yum
- Masterworks
- Confusions
- Others...

Shri Devi Rangjung Gyalmo & Bernagchen Mahakala as a couple sit astride a donkey atop a sun disc and surrounded by orange, red and yellow flames of pristine awareness. The unique aspect to these combined wrathful protectors is the female - Shri Devi - is the principal iconographic figure facing forward, or outward in a painting or sculpture. Bernagchen Mahakala is the secondary figure embracing Shri Devi and looking towards her.

There are many forms of Shri Devi both taught in the Indian Sanskrit texts and originating in Tibet with the Nyingma 'Revealed Treasure'. This form of Shri Devi, Rangjung Gyalmo, follows the appearance as described in the 'Revealed Treasures' of the Nyingma Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The Marpa Kagyu Tradition in general maintains a special form of Shri Devi that originated with the Indian Mahasiddha Naropa - generally referred to as the Naropa Tradition Shri Devi. The Karma Kagyu practices both the Naropa Tradition and in particular the Rangjung Gyalmo passed down from Karma Pakshi.

Jeff Watt 8-2011 [updated 9-2017]