Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Protector: Shmashana Adhipati Religious Context

Shri Shmashana Adhipati Main Page

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Description (below)
- Source Texts
- Outline Page
- Chakrasamvara
- Vajrayogini
- Yantra Prints
- Protector Deities Main Page
- Secondary Figures
- Related Deities
- Meditational Deity Page
- Deities According to Function
- Colours & Activities
- Complex Specific Subjects
- Metaphor
- Confusions: Cham (dancing skeletons), cemetery scenes (dancing skeletons), skeleton masks
- Others...

- Dancing Skeletons
- Skeleton Deities: Part 2

Shri Shmashana Adhipati (Chitipati) arises from the Secret Essence Wheel Tantra (dpal dur khro bdag po'i sgrub skor, Sa chen, [W2DB4567], dpal dur khrod kyi bdag po'i rgyud gsang ba snying gi 'khor, vol.14 [W23681]) and is associated with the collection/cycle of Chakrasamvara Tantras (Anuttarayoga Tantra).

The root Tantra has eight chapters:
[1] History
[2] Root Sadhana (w/ instructions on how to create a painting)
[3] Activities
[4] Reversal
[5] Receiving Attainments
[6] Extreme Activities
[7] Inducing with Praise
[8] Conclusion

Primarily employed as a wealth practice, with emphasis on protecting from thieves, the pair also serve as the special protector for the Vajrayogini 'Naro Khechari' practice. Shri Shmashana Adhipati is now popular, to a greater or lesser extent, in all the New (Sarma) Schools of Himalayan and Tibetan influenced Buddhism.

Lineage of Teachers: Vajradhara, Vajrayogini, Mahasiddha Padmavajra, Lilavajra, Jnana Siddhi, Shri Samayavajra, Chime Lodro Zangpo, Ngulchu Vairochana, Khampa Gvalo Shonnu Pal, Sachen Kunga Nyingpo (1092-1158), etc.

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Jeff Watt 4-2004 [updated 4-2017, 12-2019]

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