Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Mahamayuri

Pancha Raksha Page

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Description (below)
- Source Texts (below)
- Primary Figure
- Secondary Figure
- Peacock Imagery
- Masterworks: Pancha Raksha Paintings
- Confusions
- Others...

Video: Mahamayuri

Mahamayuri is the Great Peahen, from the pheasant family of birds. The male is called a peacock and the female is a peahen. They are also referred to as peafowl.

Mahamayuri is rarely found in Himalayan art as an independent figure. She is generally included in the group of five known as the Pancha Raksha and represented primarily as painting and less so as sculpture. Mahamayuri was not a popular practice and never gained a following outside of the Pancha Raksha. In paintings of the Pancha Raksha, Mahamayuri is the figure that is green in colour.

[62] Maha Mayuri [Pancha Raksha]. (See top right corner).
Maha Mayuri, green, with three faces and six hands. The main face is green, the right black [and] the left white and each face has three eyes. The three right [hands] hold, a peacock feather, arrow and [gesture of] supreme generosity. The three left [hold], a jewelled yak-tail fan, bow and vase held at the side. With the moon as a backrest, wearing peaceful ornaments and garments. Seated in the half [vajrasana] posture. (By Ngorchen Konchog Lhundrub (1497-1557), bibliographic information. Based on the Bari Gyatsa of Bari Lotsawa Rinchen Drag, 1040-1112 [P3731]).

- The Five Pancha Raksha:
- Maha Pratisara
- Maha Sahasrapramardini
- Mahamayuri
- Sitavati
- Mantramanudharani

Jeff Watt [updated 12-2021]

Source Texts: Translating the Words of the Buddha

Toh 559. The Great Peahen, Queen of Incantations. རིག་སྔགས་ཀྱི་རྒྱལ་མོ་རྨ་བྱ་ཆེན་མོ། · rig sngags kyi rgyal mo rma bya chen mo. mahāmāyūrīvidyārājñi. (60 pages)

Toh 560. The Essence of the Peahen, Queen of Spells. རིག་སྔགས་ཀྱི་རྒྱལ་མོ་རྨ་བྱའི་ཡང་སྙིང། · rig sngags kyi rgyal mo rma bya'i yang snying. māyūrīvidyāgarbha. (2 pages)

Toh 561. The Great Amulet, Queen of Incantations. རིག་པའི་རྒྱལ་མོ་སོ་སོ་འབྲང་བ་ཆེན་མོ། · rig pa'i rgyal mo so so 'brang ba chen mo. mahāpratisarāvidyārajñi.

Toh 587 / 943. Essence of the Great Peahen. རྨ་བྱ་ཆེན་མོའི་སྙིང་པོ། · rma bya chen mo'i snying po.

Mahamayuri & Pancha Raksha Text Catalogue:
1. Bari Gyatsa of Bari Lotsawa. Sadhana and generic initiation.
2. Drup Thab Gyatsa of Konchog Lhundrub. Sadhana and generic initiation.
3. Drup Thab Gyatso of Thartse Panchen (Sadhanamala re-write). Sadhana and generic initiation.
4. Mitra Gyatsa of Mitra Yogin. Pancadevi with 15 deity mandala sadhana.
5. Mitra Gyatsa Commentary by Khyentse Wangpo (notes on Pancadevi).
6. Drup Thab Kuntu. (2 texts on Pancadevi and a 'vase accomplishment').
7. Sadhanamala (Tibetan, Tangyur) ?
8. Sadhanamala (Sanskrit; Bhattacharya). #197 sadhana and #201 Pancadevi.
9. Gyu De Kuntu. Mandala empowerment and a sadhana for the 56 Deity Pancaraksha Devi Mandala.