Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Parnashavari & Janguli Comparison

Parnashavari (Mitra Tradition) | Yellow Janguli

The yellow Arya Janguli is easily confused in appearance with the Mitra tradition Parnashavari. They are both yellow in colour and have the same number of faces and arms. They both stand with the right leg bent and the left straight. Parnashavari also has a tradition where the deity is kneeling but otherwise all of the attributes and characteristics are the same as described. The real confusion is between the the yellow form of Janguli and the Parnashavari iconography of the Mitra tradition where both figures are almost identical in attributes and in a standing posture. The Tibetan texts consulted that describe the physical appearance of Parnashavari in the Mitra tradition do not describe the standing or sitting posture. The majority of the Mitra sculptural and painted representations depict Parnashavari in a standing position with the right leg bent and left straight. Most of the confusions concerns sculptural representations in a Densatil style.

- Parnashavari & Janguli Comparison
- Goddess of Serpents: Janguli

The significant differences between the two are that Janguli holds a sword in the right hand and does not have an upper or lower garment of thatched leaves. In the painting HAR #65302 the large central figure of Parnashavari is in a slightly peaceful/wrathful appearance. Directly below is the fearsome goddess Janguli wrathful in appearance with a hood of seven snakes.

[50] "...Arya Janguli, yellow, with three faces. Having a hood of seven snake heads. [Each face] possessing three eyes and the faces [both] smiling and fierce. The six right hands hold, a vajra, sword and an arrow in a dancing manner. The left, a wrathful [gesture] together with a lasso, a blue poisonous flower and a bow. Adorned with flowers and snakes. Standing in a dancing manner." (Konchog Lhundrub, 1497-1557).

- Seven Snake Heads
- Sword (right hand)
- Blue poisonous flower (left hand)
- Snake ornaments

"...Parnashavari, yellow, three faces, right white, left red, with three eyes. Adorned with fruit, leaves and jewel garments. With six arms the three right hands hold a vajra, axe and arrow. The three left hold have a wrathful gesture and lasso, a fan of fruit and leaves, and a bow. The hair is tied with a string of flowers." (Mitra. rgyud sde kun btus. Volume 23, page 156).

- Axe (right hand)
- Fan of new leaves (left hand)
- Lower garment new leaves

The Parnashavari in the kneeling posture, aside from the posture, is identical to the Mitra tradition Parnashavari in appearance.

[46] Parnashavari [in a Kneeling Posture].
"...Parnashavari, [with] three faces and six hands. The main face is yellow, the right white and the left yellow. Also, each [face] has three eyes and is haughty and smiling. The three right hands hold, a vajra, axe and arrow. The three left, a wrathful [gesture] together with a lasso, a fan of new leaves and a bow. Having a crown of hair tied with a flower. Adorned with jewel ornaments and wearing a lower garment of new leaves. Kneeling above hindrances, the right heel blocking the lower door and the sole of the left foot placed on the seat." (Ngorchen Konchog Lhundrub, 1497-1557. Based on the Bari Gyatsa of Bari Lotsawa Rinchen Drag, 1040-1112).

Iconography: Text Collections

Jeff Watt 2-2021

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