Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Protector: Shri Devi Religious Context

Shri Devi Main Page

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Religious Context
- Introduction
- General Outline Page
- Resource Page Outline
- Traditions & Forms Outline
- Secondary Figures
- Related Deities
- Mahakala Main Page
- Protectors: Common Confusions
- Protector Deities Main Page
- Deities According to Function
- Colours & Activities
- Complex Specific Subjects
- Metaphor
- Source Texts
- Confusions
- Others...

Videos:
- Shri Devi: Introduction
- Magzor Gyalmo
- Drashi Lhamo - Shri Devi
- Shri Devi & Mahakala Mandala: HAR 215

Shri Devi is a Buddhist variant on a number of different Indian wrathful deities such as Chandika and Kali, both of whom are related to early Shaiva and Shakta cults.

Aside from the individual Anuttarayoga Tantras that teach various forms of Shri Devi, the principal texts are the Twenty-five and Fifty Chapter Mahakala Tantras. The textual source for Magzor Gyalmo is the Dakinyagnijihajvala Tantra, Dege Kanjur, volume 98, pp.223-253, Nyingma Tantra section, vol.3. TBRC w22084. The correct identification of Shri Devi depends on her appearance and attributes, the Sanskrit or Tibetan text where she is described, and the religious tradition that she is associated with.

Shri Devi is the wrathful emanation of a number of different peaceful female gods and deities. Sarasvati, the goddesses of wisdom, literature and eloquence, in wrathful appearance becomes Shri Devi Magzor Gyalmo. The goddess of abundance Shri Lakshmi becomes in wrathful form Kamadhatvishvari.

The various different religious traditions will place more emphasis on a particular Shri Devi over another. For instance the principal Shri Devi of the Sakya tradition is the Dudsol Dokam Wangchugma with four arms followed by Magzor Gyalmo and Dorje Rabtenma. The Kagyu tradition in general also include the Dudsol Dokam Wangchugma but with slightly different attributes in the hands. The Karma Kagyu tradition also ractices the Rangjung Gyalmo. The Gelug tradition almost exclusively practices the Magzor Gyalmo form of Shri Devi.

Database Search: All Images | Paintings | Sculpture

Jeff Watt 3-2003 [updated 8-2006, 11-2016, 5-2017, 1-2019, 12-2019]

Toh 670/1087. Incantation of Mahākālī. ནག་མོ་ཆེན་མོའི་གཟུངས། · nag mo chen mo'i gzungs. mahākālīdhāraṇī.

Toh 671. The Sovereign Tantra, In Praise of the Goddess Kālī. ལྷ་མོ་ནག་མོའི་བསྟོད་པ་རྒྱལ་པོའི་རྒྱུད། · lha mo nag mo'i bstod pa rgyal po'i rgyud. kālīpraśaṃsārājatantra.

Toh 672/1088. The Hundred and Eight Names of the Goddess Kālī. ལྷ་མོ་ནག་མོའི་མཚན་བརྒྱ་རྩ་བརྒྱད་པ། · lha mo nag mo'i mtshan brgya rtsa brgyad pa. kālīnāmāṣṭaśatakam.

(The images below are only a selection of examples from the links above).