Himalayan Art Resources

Bon Deity: Sipai Gyalmo Main Page

Bon Protectors

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- Sipai Gyalmo
- Bon Protectors

Iconographic Forms:
- Dreu Nagmo
- Dreu Marmo
- Ugya Chagtong
- Yeshe Walmo
- Machig Lhamo
- Riding a Bear (Boyulma)
- Riding a Bird
- Others...

Sipai Gyalmo (Queen of the World) is both a meditational deity and a protector. She has six principal manifestations (white, yellow, red, black, blue and dark brown) and twenty-eight retinue attendant figures.

Tibetan: Machog Sipai Gyalmo (ma mchog srid pa rgyal mo).

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. Embroidered works of art such as these were commonly commissioned by Tibetans although made in China.

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Jeff Watt 5-2005 [updated 4-2017]