Palden Lhamo, Protector of the Dalai Lama

Early 19th century

Gouache on linen

Gift of Gail and Gary L. Damkoehler


The only female deity among the 8 Protectors of the faith, this fierce goddess is also protector of the Lhasa area and of the Dalai Lamas, and, therefore, is especially venerated by the Gelukpa. She rides her three-eyed mule thru dancing flames and a sea of blood, a trident in her hand. Conceptually related to the Hindu goddess, Kali, she is also related to Shri Devi, the consort of Mahakala, a male Protector of Buddhism

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