Tibetan Protector Deities
Guardian King Dhritarastra Chokyoing (Lokpalas) are the Four Guardian Kings. Often found at the entrance hallway ofMonasteries and believed to be Mongolian in origin, they protect the four cardinal directions. The eastern king is white and carries a lute. The southern king is blue and carries a sword.
The western king is red and carries a thunderbolt. The northernking is yellow and carries a banner of victory and a jewel-spitting mongoose. He is regarded as the God of Wealth and is depicted riding a Snow Lion.
Dorje Jigje (Yamantaka) is the most well-known protector of the Yellow Hat sect. Known as the destroyer of Yama, the Lord ofDeath, he is a blue, beastly-looking creature with eight heads, one of which is the head of a bull, and strings of skulls around his waist and neck. He holds a flaying knife and a skull cup in his eight to 36 arms.
With his 16 feet he stomps on eight Hindu Gods, eight mammals and eight birds. Dorje Jigje punishes Evil people to a Life in Hell, helps guide good peopleto a better Rebirth and crushes earthly passions that block Enlightenment. Yamanataka is so horrible that no one should look at his image, especially women. Statues of him are often covered.
Yamantaka Nagpo Chenpo (Mahakala) is wrathful Tantric God and a manifestation of Chenresig (Avalokiteshvara).
Associated with the Hindu God Shiva, he is blue and has fanged teeth, a crown fo skulls, and carries a trident and skull cup. He comes in various forms, with two to six arms and is regarded as the protector of tents by nomads. Nangpo Chenpo means the Great Black One .
Tamdrin (Hahagriva) is another wrathful manifestation of Chenresig (Avalokiteshvara). Associated with the Hindu God Vishnu, he is red with a white face on the right and green gace on the left and has a Horse’s head in his Hair, a crown of skulls, a tiger skin around his waist and a garland of 52 chopped off heads.
On his back are the wings of Garuda. In his six hands are a Lotus, club sword, skull cup, snare and ax. Under his four legs a sun disc and corpses. Tandrin in red and Dorje in blue often serve as guardian Gods at the entrance of temples.
More Tibetan Buddhist Protector Deities
Mahakala Chan Dorje (Vajrapani) is the wrathful Bodhisattva of Energy. He is blue with a tiger skin around his waist and snake around his neck. In his right hand is athunderbolt, the Symbol of the Tantric Faith. Chan Dorje means “thunderbolt in hand.”
Demchok (Chakrasamvara) is a meditational Deity with a blue Body, 12 arms, four faces, and a crescent moon in his topnot. In his hands are a thunderbolt, a Bell, a elephant skin, an axe, a hooked knife, a trident, a skull, a hand drum, a skull cup, a lasso and head of Brahma. He wears a tiger skin and has a garland with 52 severed heads around his neck.
Palden Lhamo (Shri Devi) is the guardian of Lhasa, the Dalai Lama an the Yellow Hat sect. An angry manifestation of Tara The female counterpart of Nagpo Chenpo (Mahakala), she is blue, wears tiger skin and human skin Clothes and has earrings made of a snake and a lion and carries a skull cup full of blood in her left hand and a club in her right hand. A moon is in her Hair; the sun is her stomach; and a corpse is in her mouth.
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