Depicting Ancient Sridevi Thangka (Dudsolma)

Depicting Ancient Sridevi Thangka (Dudsolma)

Shri wrathful with one face and four hands holding upraised a sword, a skullcup to the heart, a peg dagger and a trident, riding atop a mule. At the top center is the form of Shri and .

Shri Devi is a category of deity. Her primary function is as a protector () and specifically the primary female Protector of and . There are dozens of different variations and of Shri Devi.

Mahayana and tantric traditions of Buddhism

A protector of Buddhist is called a Dharmapala. They are typically wrathful deities, depicted with terrifying in the Mahayana and tantric traditions of .

The wrathfulness is intended to depict their willingness to defend and guard Buddhist followers against dangers and enemies. The astagatyah  (the eight kinds of non-human beings) is one category of Dharmapala, which includes :

Garuda

refers to the Garula which means golden-winged birds in Buddhist texts. Under the Buddhist concept , they are one of the Astagatyah, the eight classes of inhuman beings.

In , they are shown as sitting and listening to the sermons of the .

They are enemies of the Nagas (snakes) and are sometimes depicted with a serpent held between their claws.

Like the , both zoomorphic (giant eagle-like bird) and partially (part bird, part human) iconography is common across Buddhist traditions.

Deva

In  Deva’s are highly evolved beings who inhabit different levels of existence. Deva’s are commonly associated with great beauty and bliss.

Buddhism is one of many different types of non-human beings who share the godlike characteristics of being more powerful, longer-lived, and, in general, much happier than humans, although the same level of veneration is not paid to them as to buddhas.

The concept of devas was adopted in partly because of the similarity to Shinto’s concept of kami.

Naga

Nagas are mythical serpent beings that originated in . In Buddhism, they often are protectors of the Buddha and of the dharma.

However, they also are worldly and temperamental that spread disease and misfortune when angered. The word naga means “cobra” in .

Yaksha

Yaksha is the name of a broad class of nature-spirits, usually benevolent, who are caretakers of the treasures hidden in the and tree roots.

They appear in Hindu, and Buddhist literature. The feminine form of the word is yakṣī or .In Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist texts, the yaksha has a dual personality.

Gandharva

Gandharvas in the historic sense acted as messengers between the and humans today they are nothing but imitators, cheaters, liars and those who have tricked themselves into the sound or ‘into being ’.

In Hindu law, a Gandharva marriage is one contracted by mutual consent and without formal .

Asura

The asuras battle constantly with the devas. Asuras are described in Indian texts as powerful superhuman demigods with good or bad qualities.

The good Asuras are called Adityas and are led by , while the malevolent ones are called Danavas and are led by Vritra.

In the earliest layer of Vedic texts, , and other gods are also called Asuras, in the sense of them being “lords” of their respective domains, , and abilities.

In later Vedic and post-Vedic texts, the benevolent gods are called Devas, while malevolent Asuras compete against these Devas and are considered “enemy of the gods”.

Kinnara

Kinnara is also known as a paradigmatic lover, a celestial musician, half-human and half-horse.

In South-east , two of the most beloved mythological characters are the benevolent half-human, half-bird creatures known as the Kinnara and Kinnari, which are believed to come from the and often watch over the well-being of humans in of trouble or danger.

Their character is clarified in the Adi Parva of the Mahabharata, where they say.

Mahoraga

The Mahoraga is one of the eight classes of deities that are said to protect the Dharma.

They are described as huge subterranean serpents who lie on their sides and rotate the earth, which occasionally causes .

Like the kinnara, the mahoraga is also associated with .

They are understood as being associated with large serpents such as pythons, while the nāgas are more closely related to the cobra.

Mahakala Tranntras

In most occurrences and uses of Shri Devi, but not all, she is paired with a specific form of .

from the individual that teach various forms of Shri Devi, the principal texts are the Twenty-five and Fifty Chapter Mahakala .

The textual source for Magzor Gyalmo is Dakinyagnijihajvala Tantra, Dege Kanjur, It is found in the Tantra section.

Shri Devi is not one entity or personality. Depending on the form of Shri Devi she could be a wrathful emanation of a number of different deities such as Shri Devi Magzor Gyalmo is the wrathful form of Sarasvati. Some forms of Shri Devi with four arms such as Dudusolma are the wrathful form of Shri .

 

 

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