JoomlaWatch 1.2.12 - Joomla Monitor and Live Stats by Matej Koval
Chinese_simplified Dutch English French German Italian Japanese Lithuanian Polish Romanian Russian
The Practice of the Bonpo Deity Walchen Gekhod, also known as Zhang-Zhung Meri - Iconography of Zhang-zhung Meri 2
Article Index
The Practice of the Bonpo Deity Walchen Gekhod, also known as Zhang-Zhung Meri
Four Classes of Bönpo Tantras
Gekhöd and Meri
Iconography of Zhang-zhung Meri
Iconography of Zhang-zhung Meri 2
The Mantra Recitation for Meri
The Texts for Zhang-zhung Meri
Outline of the Sadhana Text
The Practice of Sadhana
Notes:
All Pages

Meri may be  visualized  as a solitary, heroic, warrior figure, without embracing a consort  (yum). However, in  many  thangkas of Meri, he is  shown  with two  consorts standing below him on either side. On his right is his Liberation Consort, Drol-yum Namkhai Ödlayma (sgrol-yum nam-mkha’i ‘od-slas-ma), whose body color is dark red. She is naked, holding a phurpa, or three-bladed dagger, in her right hand and she rides majestically upon a white tortoise. On his left is his Sexual Union Consort, Jyor-yum Nelay Sidpai Gyalmo (sbyor-yum ne-slas srid-pa'i rgyal-mo), whose body color is dark yellow. She also is naked and holds a kapala filled with blood, offering it up to her lord’s mouth, while at times she may actually engage in sexual intercourse with him. She rides upon a black bear. These two goddesses are sometimes depicted in dance position, indicationg they represent active manifestatioins of female energy pertaining to liberation (or slaying) and sexual union respectively.

Although the retinue of Gekhöd Meri is not indicated in the short sadhana texts, the detailed accounts are found elsewhere in various texts  providing the descriptions of the visualizations (mngon-rtogs) for the Kyerim, or generation process.. Most immediately, this retinue consists of the Ten Krodhas, or wrathful deities (khro-bo bcu). In many thangkas, five of these Krodhas are shown to the right of Meri and five to his left. Each Krodha has his consort in sexual union with him (yab-yum) and two acolytes positioned on either side accompanying them. These latter are  known as summoners, being animal-headed males, and and slayers, who are usually bird-headed females. These wrathful deities are listed below, together with their direction in the mandala and their color:

(1) In the east direction, there is Walgyi Gyalpo Me-lha-gyung, white in colour, with his consort Satänma, and together with a lion-headed summoner and a vulture-headed slayer.

(2) In the southeast direction, there is Kyelchen Muwer, light blue in colour, with his consort Gyerting Tsamed, and together with a bear-headed summoner and an owl-headed slayer.

(3) In the south direction, there is Sumphüd Gyalpo, dark turquoise in colour, with his consort Kyedjyedma, and together with a tiger-headed summoner and a hoopoe-headed slayer.

(4) In the southwest direction, there is Ligchen Muwer, bluish-red in colour, with his consort Gyernyän Tsamed, and together with a bear-headed summoner and a hoopoe-headed slayer.

(5) In the west direction, there is Kulha Yojya, red in colour, with his consort Minjyedma, and together with a leopard-headed summoner and a crow-headed slayer.

(6) In the northwest direction, there is Pungchen Muwer, reddish-green in colour, with his consort Ting-gyung Tsamed, and together with an elephant-headed summoner and a raven-headed slayer.

(7) In the north direction, there is Kulha Muwer, yellowish-green in colour, with his consort Degjyedma, and together with a wild yak-headed summoner and an eagle-headed slayer.

(8) In the northeast direction, there is Sidpa Muwer, whitish-green in colour, with his consort Ringnyän Tsamed, and together with a cat-headed summoner and an owl-headed slayer.

(9) In the direction above, there is Pühay Dung-gyung, blue in colour, with his consort Shugdrolma, and together with a dragon-headed summoner and a garuda-headed slayer.

(10) In the direction below, there is Kulha Traphüd, dark yellow in colour, with his consort Södjyedma, and together with a wild boar-headed summoner and a she wolf-headed slayer.[10]

Each of these wrathful deities has three heads, six arms, and four legs.

Outside of this there is a circle of Twelve Female Messengers (pho-nya-ma bcu-gnyis), who carry out the commands of the principal deity Zhang-zhung Meri. Then there are Four Female Generals (dmag-dpon-ma bzhi), attired in armour and riding upon various animals. Next there may be the Female Guardians of the Four Lakes (mtsho bzhi srung-ma), also attired in armour and helmets. Finally there are the Female Guardians of the Four Rivers (chu bzhi srung-ma), variously attired, guarding the Brahmaputra river in the east, the Sita river in the north, the Indus river in the west, and the Ganges river in the south respectively.

Beyond their circle in the mandala, there are the Four Great Champion Gate-keepers (sgo-ba gyad-chen bzhi) in the four directions, listed as follows:

(1) In the east, there is a lion-headed man, white in colour, riding on a lion and holding a three-pointed crystal staff,

(2) In the south, there is a makara-headed man, blue in colour, riding on a makara sea-monster and holding a flaming sword,

(3) In the west, there is a wild boar-headed man, red in colour, riding on a red wild boar and brandishing a battle-axe of meteorite iron in the sky, and

(4) In the north, there is a wild yak-headed man, black in colour, riding on a yellowish-white wild yak and holding a bow and arrow.

In some thangkas, below the row of Twelve Female Messengers, there is a row of Guardians (srung-ma), or Bön Protectors (bon skyong). Among their number are Nyipangse (nyi-pang-sad) and Mänmo (sman-mo), the two special Guardians of the Zhang-zhung Nyän-gyud teachings and its lineage. It is said that at one time Gyerpungpa ascended through the air to the Deva realm of  Wewa Dargub (dbe-ba dar-gub) at the southwest corner of the cosmic mountain of  Sumeru (Mt. Meru), lying at the center of the world, and there subdued the Deva king Nyipangse (nyi-pang-sad) and the female deity, Mänmo (sman-mo). In Bönpo thangkas, the guardian Nyipangse is depicted as a warrior prince, white in color, mounted on a white horse, wearing white robes and a white turbin, and carrying a staff of crystal. Mänmo is shown as a great queen dressed in white, riding on a mule. In the Buddhist tradition, Nyipangse became known as Tsangpo Karpo (tshangs-po dkar-po), “the White Brahma,” and is regarded as a Guardian and Dharma Protector in the various schools of Tibetan Buddhism and even of the Tibetan Government. Elsewhere, Mänmo is regarded as an emanation of the Queen of Heaven, Namchyi Gung-gyal (gnam-phyi gung-rgyal). The great master of the Zhang-zhung tradition, Nyammed Sherab Gyaltsän, who re-established the foundation of Menri monastery in the 15th centrury, composed a practice text for the invoking of their aid on behalf of practitioners. [11]