Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Parnashavari Main Page

Parnashavari Masterworks

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- Parnashavari
- Parnashavari Colours & Sources
- Parnashavari & Janguli Comparison

Associated with the mysterious Shavari tribe of ancient India, the Forest Goddess, Parnashavari, with three faces and six hands, wears a skirt and a garland of thatched green leaves. She is associated with jungle tribes and the practice of healing, particularly curing contagious diseases. In the Himalayas and Tibet when a large group of people congregate to receive extended religious teachings, it is common to first give the initiation and blessing for the Forest Goddess in order to stave off sickness.

The Forest Goddess is an example of an Indian folk deity absorbed into Tantric Buddhism. She is a popular practice and has numerous forms with varying emphases. For the practitioner of Esoteric Buddhist meditation, the Forest Goddess is an emanation of the Buddha, and her special characteristic or metaphor is that of sickness and healing.

Parnashavari Profile:
Identity: individual deity (not an emanation)
Tantra Class: Kriya Tantra, Charya Tantra, Anuttarayoga Tantra
Source Text: Parnashavari-nama Dharani, Siddhaikavira Tantra, Hevajra Tantra, etc
Function/activity: curing contagion
Metaphor: sickness/healing

Special Characteristics:
Appearance: semi-peaceful semi-wrathful
Colour: Yellow, Red, Blue, Green
Attributes: garland of thatched green leaves.
Consort: n/a
Mount: variable

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Jeff Watt 5-2003 [updated 9-2016, 6-2017, 1-2020]