Paldan Lhamo [Large]

Gold on Black

Author : Beer, Robert

Item Details

  • Publisher : Robert Beer Website
  • Size : 730 x 510mm
  • Category :
    Tibetan Art
  • Catalogue No : 21598

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Synopsis

Shri Devi, the ‘Great Goddess’, is known as Paldan Lhamo in Tibetan, and she appears here in her form as Magzor Gyalmo, the ‘War-repulsing Queen’, who is the main female protector of the Tibetan state and the Dalai Lama. She is blue-black in colour, and amidst a maelstrom of wind and sparks she rides sidesaddle on her mule across an ocean of blood. She is extremely wrathful, with an emaciated body, skeletal limbs, sagging breasts, upward-streaming hair, and three round red eyes. A corpse lies within her gaping mouth, a lion and snake adorn her right and left ears, the sun shines from her navel, and above her head are a crescent moon and a peacock-feathered parasol. She wears gold, bone and serpent ornaments, a black silk bodice, a tiger-skin loincloth, a human-skin shawl, a severed-head garland, and broken chains around her ankles. With her right hand she wields aloft a vajra-topped red sandalwood club, and with her left hand she holds the upturned skull of a ‘misbegotten’ child born from incestuous union, which is full of ‘charm blood’. She also possesses ‘five magical weapons’: a notched magical stick that is tucked into her belt, and hanging from her saddle are a sack full of contagious diseases, a pair of dice, a bundle of red curses, and a ball of variegated thread. Her mule has an eye on its rump and is led by her two crocodile-headed and lion-headed attendants, while below her are the four mule-mounted ‘activity’ goddesses that flank her on each side. (See also Chwaskamini in Newar Buddhist Art).