Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Marichi Main Page

Marichi Masterworks

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Marichi Description (below)
- Iconography
- Marichi Outline Page
- Tantra Classification
- Eleven Types of Deities
- Confusions: Vajravarahi, Varahi, Varaha
- Others...

The Goddess of the Dawn (Tibetan: ozer chen ma. Sanskrit: Marichi) is depicted in many different forms. Sometimes she rides a white horse through the sky, banishing the darkness and driving back the night with the orb of the sun in the outstretched right hand, more commonly she is yellow or red in colour, with one, three or more faces and six to twelve arms, seated on a chariot drawn by seven pigs, or horses, removing all obstacles to happiness and well-being. Her mood can be either peaceful or wrathful. The metaphor for spiritual practice and meditation is light, light overcoming darkness.

The compendium of practices known as the Bari Gyatsa contains five different descriptions of Marichi. The Drub Tab Gyatso has six descriptions (see an example). The Nartang Gyatsa and Rinjung of Taranata describe a single form of Marichi. Both the Vajravali and Mitra Gyatsa describe a single mandala of Marichi with twenty-five surrounding figures.

Marichi Profile:
Gender: Female
Identity: Individual deity (not an emanation)
Tantra Identity: Mother of the Tatagata Family of Kriya Tantra
Tantra Class: Kriya Tantra
Source Text: Marichinama Dharani, Mayamarichijata Tantra
Function/activity: Removing obstacles
Metaphor: Light

Special Characteristics:
Appearance: Peaceful, semi-peaceful or wrathful
Colour: Yellow, red, black or white
Attributes: needle, thread
Consort: (none)
Mount: pig (sow), chariot drawn by pigs, horse

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Jeff Watt 8-2006 [updated 4-2017, 1-2020]