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The Protectors of the Dzinpa Rangdröl

Ekajati (Tib. ral gcig ma)
“The Tantra Protectress, the Single Dreadlock Mother,
Ralchigma…”

(Drupchen Binder, pg 119)
Ekajati is the primary protector of the Dzogchen teachings,
and the guardian of all Termas. Her name literally means “One
Braid of Hair,” and alludes to her extremely symbolic non-dual
appearance. In the Dzinpa Rangdröl cycle (and most Nyingma
systems), she has one eye, one fang, one breast, and one lock
of hair. Being a quintessential embodiment of non-duality, one
of her epithets is “the mother of the mother of all the
Buddhas.” In the Sakya tradition she is considered to be the
mother of Palden Lhamo. It’s not known for certain whether
Ekajati originated in the Hindu, Buddhist, or Bön pantheon, but some have suggested that
Nagarjuna brought her practice from India to Tibet in the 7th century. According to most Tibetan
sources, she was a Bön goddess whom Guru Rinpoche bound under oath as a protector of the
teachings. He is said to have gauged out one of her eyes with his Phurba, leaving her with only
one.
Ekajati is also known as Blue Tara, or Māhacīna-tārā, the most wrathful form of Tara.
In the Dzinpa Rangdröl protectors’ text, she is holding “the enemy’s heart” (the enemy being
samaya breakers/breakages, and those who are vicious towards the Dharma) in her right hand,
which she is feeding into her mouth. In her left hand, she is commanding her messenger (Tib.
spyan gzigs), which is a female turquoise wolf. In some Bön depictions of Ekajati, the turquoise
wolf actually serves as her mount.

Skt. pg 220) Za Rahula is one of the three primary protectors of the Nyingma and Dzogchen traditions (along with Ekajati and Dorje Legpa). until he was subjugated by Guru Rinpoche and bound under oath. adorned with his insatiable mouth. and holding a vajra in his right hand and the heart of the “enemy” in his left. rdo rje legs pa. Vajrasadhu) “Damchen Dorje Legpa…” (Drupchen Binder. In the Kagyu school he rides a goat. the traditional mount of the Theurang demons. a snake lasso. and is adorned with 1. pg 220) Dorje Legpa. are solely interested in matters pertaining to the Dharma and realization. nine heads. and can be approached for more personal and mundane matters. The’u rang) demons. Dorje Legpa as Vajrasadhu is said to have been the god of gambling and war. sun. Rahula’s actual face. but in the Nyingma school he is depicted as red. riding a snow lion. Rahula is found in many Indian texts as the lord of the planetary demons. and his lower body is that of a naga. the north node in Vedic astrology and a so-called invisible “eighth planet” which is responsible for swallowing other astral bodies during eclipses. on the other hand. This carried over into the Tibetan system. Since Dorje Legpa’s energy is described as being less overwhelming than Ekajati and Rahula. is located on his stomach. . and astrologically speaking he is synonymous with Rahu. and a makara stick. Dorje Legpa (Wyl. the performer of unobstructed power and strength…” (Drupchen Binder. a kind of flying goblin-like spirit known for possessing children.Za Rahula (Wyl. His physical appearance changes slightly depending on the tradition.000 eyes. His upper body has four arms. where his nine heads are physical manifestations of the nine celestial bodies which he swallows (the seven planets. He is prominent in both the Nyingma and Kagyu traditions. he is very accessible. and moon). or “Excellent Vajra” is one of the three primary protectors of the Nyingma and Dzogchen traditions. He is one of the Theurang (Wyl. but he is generally depicted holding a bow & arrow. Ekajati and Rahula. gza rA hu la) “Drangsong Rahula.

Skt. After she killed him. which is a peaceful form of Palden Lhamo. bgra shis tshe ring ma) Tashi Tseringma is the leader of the Long-life sisters. is the chief protectress of Tibet. who was destined to be a powerful enemy of Buddhism. pg 120) “Remati” refers to Palden Lhamo. pg 120) The “Five Medicine Consorts” (Tib. She is white with a tinge of red. striking the rump of her mule. Because of the vows they made to Guru Rinpoche. In the 11th century. Do Khyentse was conceived when his mother transported to another dimension while visiting a Machig Pelha Shiwa’i Nyamjen (Wyl. Queen of the desire realm…” (Drupchen Binder. which can be seen in all representations of Palden Lhamo. She rides on a saddle fashioned from the skin of her son. or long-life arrow. She is also considered to be the consort of Mahakala. and considered by some to be the most wrathful protector in the Vajrayana world. sman btsun lnga) “The five medicine consorts who are the Queens of war…” (Drupchen Binder. The five sisters consist of: -Tashi Tseringma (Wyl. they famously attempted to distract Jetsun Milarepa from his meditation. with her right hand holding a wish-fulfilling jewel. Dice . and later received many teachings from various Mahasiddhas in India. and other wrathful implements. Five Medicine Consorts (Tib. or more generally to the four Remati sisters. sman btsun lnga) are the five long-life sisters of the Men (Wyl. sman) class of spirits. re ma ti. Her left hand holds the dathar. rdo rje gshog rgod ma. and rides a mule. Shri Devi) “Remati. She carries dice with which she casts people’s fates. They were subjugated by Guru Rinpoche in the 8th century. a bag of disease. Palden Lhamo. and eventually asked Milarepa for teachings. to which he obliged (see picture). ma gcig dpal lha zhi ba'i nyams can) shrine in Lhasa. She is dark blue in the form of a rakshasi demon. This left an eye. they were unable to do any real harm.Remati (Wyl. or Shri Devi. her husband shot an arrow at her.

mgon po ma ning nag po) “The Glorious Protector Black Maning. She rides a dragon and has dominion over animals. feeding it into his mouth.and a melong hang off of the shaft of the arrow. pg 220) Maning Mahakala (Pandaka/Eunuch Mahakala) is the body emanation of Mahakala. mthing gi zhal bzang ma) Zhelzangma is blue. He has a crown of skulls. with one face and three bulging eyes. and a pan of food possessing 100 tastes in her left hand.yo glang bzang ma) Langzangma is golden in color. He is blueblack. He is first seen in the Terma traditions of the great 13th century Tertön king Guru Chowang (Wyl. and a fresh heart in his left hand. cod pan mgrin bzang ma) Drinzangma is red. jewel ornaments. Genyen Zodor (Wyl. pg 123) A local guardian spirit who is a genyen. He holds a spear with a trident tip in his right hand. with a divination arrow in her right hand. -Jöpen Drinzangma (Wyl. embodiment of all father lineages” (Drupchen Binder. He has yellow hair. and a silk turban. -Miyö Langzangma (Wyl. He has a golden lasso wrapped around his hand. gtel dkar ‘gro bzang ma) Drozangma is green in color. attached to the neck of a bound figure. intertwined with black snakes. She rides a tiger. gu ru chos dbang). -Thingi Zhelzangma (Wyl. She rides a white snow lion. holds a treasure vessel full of gems. -Telgar Drozangma (Wyl. with a dathar in her right hand and a milk ladle in her left. She wears a dress of white silk. mi g. and rides a red doe. and rides a mare. a cloak of peacock feathers. holds a divination mirror in her right hand. Maning Mahakala (Wyl. a reincarnation of Trisong Detsen and a past incarnation of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche. a necklace of 50 . or holder of the precepts. dge bsnyen zo dor) “The local guardian Genyen Zodor” (Drupchen Binder.

with human skin over his shoulders. at least). he holds a trident. At his waist he carries a sandalwood staff.decomposing heads. and a garland of hearts. around which there’s quite a bit of scholastic controversy. Ma ning is considered to be a translation of the Sanskrit term pandaka. bya rog gdong pa. In his left. pg 220) Jarog Dongpa.” but this is really inaccurate. the performer of enlightened activity…” (Drupchen Binder. dregs pa) spirits. He is white in color and wears white silk. normally in the retinue of Green Mahakala. Ravens are often considered to be messengers of Mahakala.” Lhachen Wangchuk is one of the Dregpa (Wyl. he holds a skull cup of blood. Skt.” It is popularly translated as “eunuch. A eunuch is a male who is castrated. normally intentionally as a form of punishment or religious fanaticism. or Kakamukha. adorned with a jewel and vajra. to transsexuality. It’s noteworthy that the Mahakala who is considered the “embodiment of all father lineages” is without gender (in the traditional sense. Jarog Dongpa (Wyl. The term ma ning literally means “without sex. the lord of all Child lineages. to homosexuality. is a raven-faced Mahakala. Lhachen Wangchuk (Wyl. lha chen dbang phyug) “The Great Lhachen Wangchuk. . He wears a black cloak. and encountering them can be seen as an auspicious sign for this reason. In his right hand. The term was traditionally used to define a wide range of variations in sexuality and gender identity – from hermaphrodism. Kakamukha) “Wisdom protectors: Jarog Dongchen (the ravenheaded).

bla ma dgongs 'dus) cycle in particular. and appears to hold a kind of vajra axe and a mirror. sha za kha mo che) is the same as Shasa Horma (Wyl. is red in color. kha mo che) “Khamoche. who is the main one of the flesh-eating Machig dakinis…” (Drupchen Binder. Khamoche (Wyl. pg 221) Unfortunately. She is a primary protector in the Longchen Nyingthik. dge bsnyen smyo kha nag po) “…and Genyen Nyokha Nagpo” (Drupchen Binder. Shasa Khamoche (Wyl. She was entrusted with the Nyingma teachings in general. pg 220) Another precept-holding local guardian.Genyen Nyokha Nagpo (Wyl. page 36) Lhamo Ngen Neyma (Wyl. sha za hor ma). pg 221) According to Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. but is associated with Sangye Lingpa’s Lama Gongdu (Wyl. (See Life of Shabkar. . lha mo ngan ne ma) “…and goddess Ngen Neyma…” (Drupchen Binder. information about Ngen Neyma is difficult to come by. a wrathful female wisdom protector whom Guru Rinpoche subjugated at Samye Chimphu. The name suggests a “crazy” black appearance.

“wrathful queen”) is one of the Tenma goddesses. wears a white dress and turquoise headdress. Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche). CO. and thus a form of Palden Lhamo. holding a sword and skull-cup.” this form is likely the Remati form which is dark brown with wings. and is considered by some to be the head of the Tenma. and considered by many sources to be the head of the Tenma. and riding a white stag. pg 120) “Dragmo Gyalmo. Guru Rinpoche placed her in the retinue of Hayagriva. bells. However. with the rest hanging down.Dorje Dragmo Gyalmo (Wyl. She is one of the Remati sisters. Yudronma is especially associated with her famous mirror divination rites. pg 221) Dorje Yudronma is one of the 12 Tenma (Wyl. with an iron hook in her left hand. There are various descriptions of her. She was also placed in the retinues of Yamantaka and Vishuddhe Heruka. rma chen spom ra).yu yi sgron). She is considered to be the consort of the mountain god Machen Pomra (wyl. One of her epithets is “The Turquoise Lamp. bstan ma) goddesses. jewels. She holds a magical mirror and a noose in her right hand. etc. Tsoknyi Rinpoche. has a special connection with Dorje Yudronma (a connection shared with his late father. Lama Dawa Chöddak Rinpoche is perhaps the most well-known contemporary master of this form of mirror divination. rdo rje gyu sgron ma) “Dorje Yudron…” (Drupchen Binder. She is especially revered by the monastic community of the Drepung lineage. rdo rje drag mo rgyal mo/rdo rje gshog rgod ma/rdo rje grags rgyal ma) “Vulture Princess with the vajra wings…” (Drupchen Binder. due to her rule over a mountain range close to the monastery. judging by the epithet “vulture princess with the vajra wings. At Samye. the vulture with vajra wings…” (Drupchen Binder. with whom Tara Mandala has a close relationship. Yudronma has a radiant white body. Some sources consider her to be a form of Ralchigma/Ekajati. Some of her hair is bound up in a top-knot. and erected a shrine to her at his retreat center in Crestone. Dorje Yudronma (Wyl. she is white in color. she is most commonly described as holding a jewel in . mistress of the Tenma goddesses [who] protect Tibet” (bod skyong brtan ma’i gtrso mo g. In one. She is adorned with gold. While various sources report different hand implements. the keeper. pg 220) Dragmo Gyalmo (literally.

but in its original meaning was a term used for a class of Bön deities. In imagery. copper sword. Ratna. the yellow Ratna Ging. it’s more of an epithet than a proper name – describing her as a glorious goddess. pg 221) The term Ging can have wide-reaching connotations. gold. . and Karma Ging hold a crystal sword.her right hand and a silver divination mirror in her left hand. performers of enlightened activities…” (Drupchen Binder. Padma. Magzor Gyalmo (Wyl. and the Vajra. and the blue Karma Ging. and flowers. trident. Four Classes of Great Ging (Wyl. She rides a donkey. They all hold a heart in their left hands. She is adorned with wreaths of turquoise. ging chen sde bzhi) “The four classes of great Gings…” (Drupchen Binder. dmag zor rgyal mo) Magzor Gyalmo with Thrag Ralma. and a primary attendant in the retinue of Palden Lhamo. She is black in color. She is prominent in the Sakya tradition. but is recognized to some degree by all schools of Tibetan Buddhism. she is often depicted with a wrathful form of Manjushri. with a vajra stick in her right hand and a skullcup in her left. respectively.” is the wrathful form of the goddess Sarasvati. and is often used as a prefix to the names of various Dharmapalas. While she is often referred to as Shri Devi (the Sanskrit name for Palden Lhamo). the “queen of the weapon army. and chopper in their right hands. who is Sarasvati’s consort. Each family consists of two male and two female Ging. The “four classes” of Ging likely refer to the white Vajra Ging. pg 221) Magzor Gyalmo. the red Padma Ging.

but after the man refused to eat it. The Three Brothers (Wyl. and looking at each other with three blazing red eyes. pg 221) The “three brothers with razor sharp knives” refers to the three Mahakala brothers. Arya Dzambhala (Wyl. Atisha became extremely . 4-armed Mahakala. and are extremely important in the Chöd tradition. pg 222) Dzambhala is the most famed god of wealth in the Tibetan pantheon. and White Mahakala. the great deity of wealth…” (Drupchen Binder. White Dzambhala. They are identical skeletons. dur tro dag po. Skt. Cittipatti) “The charnel ground keepers Yab and Yum: Gangri Tsengod and Drajomtsal…” (Drupchen Binder. consisting of 6-armed Mahakala (the primary protector of the Chöd tradition). as well as other lineages. with the father (on the left) holding a bone stick in his right hand (composed of a spine and skull). pg 221) Cittipatti are the Charnel Ground keepers. spu gri mched gsum) “…and the three brothers with razor sharp knives…” (Drupchen binder. They are embracing. The mother holds a stock of grain in her right hand. dzam bha la) “Arya Dzambhala. with a golden treasure vase in her left. is a form of Chenrezig.The Charnel Ground Keepers (Wyl. It’s said that Atisha cut the flesh from his own leg to feed a starving man. one of the most popular manifestations. and a skullcup in his left hand.

g. White Dzambhala holds a staff of gold in his right hand. Another form of Dzambhala is Red Dzambhala. Chenrezig appeared to him as Dzambhala and vowed to protect those in poverty. he wields a copper sword. in his left hand.depressed. he twists the bowels of the “enemy. Yutse (Wyl. the right is white. who was made popular largely by Traba Ngonshe. pg 222) Marchen Shenpa is red in color. or Ganesha. Some people have equated Red Dzambhala with Ganapati. shan pa) “…and the dark red Shenpa and others…” (Drupchen Binder.yu rtse) “The powerful Yutse…” (Drupchen Binder. He is ornamented with skulls and bone ornaments. He shares a name with a ridge in Tibet which he protects. and the left is blue. wearing human skins and oxen hides. His first pair of hands holds a precious gem and a skullcup filled with jewels (Right and left. and four legs. The upper two hold a hook and lasso. He carries a victory banner and rides a red horse. His main face is red. Machig’s first teacher. He is adorned with snakes and garlands of flowers. . and rides a dragon. has three faces. as found in the Yuthok Nyingthik. Shenpa Marutse(Wyl. a mongoose in his left. six hands. In his right hand. who holds a fruit in his right hand and a mongoose in his left.” This depiction is taken from a thangka of the Tibetan Medicine protector Shanglon and his retinue. The lowest two hands both hold mongooses spewing jewels. The other most popular form of Dzambhala is Yellow Dzambhala. respectively). Red Dzambhala is a form of Vajrasattva. and the Lama that introduced her to the Dzogchen teachings. who is a Hindu god of prosperity that crossed over to the Buddhist pantheon in some lineages. pg 222) Shenchen Yutse is green in color with a golden harness. He is slightly wrathful and smiling.

lords of the Tsen (Wyl. Tsi’u Marpo carries a red silk banner in his right hand. but one list is as follows: from the head came Dü Tsen (Wyl. brag btsan). They’re often referred to as the wild Tsen brothers of the copper-mountain (Zangri). btsan) demons. gdong dmar ma) and the lord of the Mu demons (see “The Seven Blazing Brothers” below). He rides a black horse with white heels. The descriptions of the deities vary by tradition. then his six brothers emerged from the various parts of his body. rol pa rgya bdun) “The blazing seven brothers. gri btsan). Tsi’u Marpo is traditionally considered to be the protector of Samye Monastery. . the holder of life force…” (Drupchen Binder. and Namkha’i Norbu Rinpoche has reportedly stated that Tsi’u Marpo is also the protector of America. Tsi’u Marpo was born from a “blood egg” produced by the union. and wears a leather helmet adorned with vulture feathers. are led by Tsi’u Marpo. the Rolpa Kyadun…” (Drupchen Binder. and the king of the Mu demons. and a snare that captures the “life breath” of enemies in his left. pg 223) The Seven Brothers. The Seven Blazing Brothers (Tib. from the urine came the brown Lu Tsen (Wyl. from the warmth of his body came Drag Tsen (Wyl. and from the flesh came Dri Tsen (Wyl. from the Bönes came white Lha Tsen (Wyl. bdud btsan). lha btsan). He and his six brothers were born from the union of Dong Marma (Wyl. from the blood came Drib Tsen (Wyl. grib btsan). likely due to his dominion over the West.Tsi’u Marpo (Wyl. gdong dmar ma). pg 222) Tsi’u Marpo is a famed protector and chief of the Dralha. tsi’u dmar po) “The great King Tsi’u Marpo. They were subdued and bound to Dharma by Guru Rinpoche after they attempted to obstruct his journey to Tibet. klu btsan). They were born from the union of Dong Marma (Wyl.

Nyenchen Thanglha in the north. The Nine Gods (Tib. while visiting a Machig Pelha (a peaceful form of Palden Lhamo. she returned to the human realm and discovered that she had disappeared for three days. see Remati) shrine in Lhasa. once at Hepori mountain by Padma Heruka. . Pho Lha. He is also the inhuman father of Do Khyentse Yeshe Dorje. is arguably the most famous. riding a white horse. He is the protector of the Thanglha mountain range in northern Tibet. pg 223) The nine “creator gods” in Tibet are associated with various sacred mountains across the plateau. His mother. He was originally one of eighteen deities in charge of hail. and they abide in the crown of the head. After what seemed like a couple hours. Tsewang Men. and heart. He is said to have been bound by Samaya four times: once in the heavenly realms by Vajrapānī. ‘go ba’i lha lnga) “The five patron gods…” (Drupchen Binder. where she was impregnated by Nyenchen Thanglha. who revealed the Dzinpa Rangdröl. right shoulder. wearing white robes. They consist of Yul Lha. and Shewu Kharag. Nyenchen Thanglha is usually described as having a white complexion. right armpit. Kulha Rigya in the south. He is a primary protector of the Chöd lineage. An additional five gods complete the nine: Machen Pömra. and finally by Guru Rinpoche.Five Patron Gods (Wyl. Shyogchen Dongra. Nyenchen Thanglha. dGra Lha. and Ödde Gungyal in the east. Zhoglha Gyugpo. mountain god in Tibet. one of the nine gods. disappeared and was transported to an alternate dimension. once at Samye by Dorje Shönnu. and holding a cane-stick in his right hand with a crystal mala or treasure vase in his left. left armpit. Mo Lha. and is also associated with the Marpori hill on which the Potala palace is situated. The four main mountain gods are Yarlha Shampo in central Tibet. and Srog Lha. respectively. The reason he was bound four times was because he was so powerful that only Guru Rinpoche himself could bind him to the Dharma. Genpo Lhaje. pg 223) The Gowa’i Lha Nga are the five protective deities said to abide in each person’s body. and most important. srid pa chags po lha dgu/skyob pa’i lha dgu) “…and the nine gods of protections” (Drupchen Binder.

the 12 protectresses of Tibet (including Dorje Yudronma. This is offered during Tsog with the Cheydo torma. It consists of one triangular martor (red torma). and one square ngontor (blue torma). Tormas for Dzinpa Rangdröl Protectors These images are taken from a Dzinpa Rangdröl pecha given to Lama Tsultrim and company during her visit to Ani Do Dasel Wangmo in 2010. Bottom Left – This is the Cheydo. is the father of Nyenchen Thanglha. and therefore the inhuman grandfather of Do Khyentse Yeshe Dorje. Instructions on making and offering these tormas can be obtained from Khenpo Urgyen Wangchuk. Bottom Right – This is the torma for the Tenma sisters. etc. Top Right – This gegtor (torma for obstructors) is used to bind various obstructors and send them far away from the place of practice. .Ödde Gungyal. one round kartor (white torma). totaling 12 tormas. and doesn’t include the tiny martor (red torma) behind it.). another one of the nine gods. the torma that renews the “contract” between Guru Rinpoche and the spirits that he subdued. This is offered during Tsog along with the Tenma torma. Top Left – This kartor (white torma) is used to appease local guardian spirits – lokepalas – before using a space for practice. Center – This is the main protector torma for the Dzinpa Rangdröl that remains on the shrine. One also uses a basic triangular martor (red torma) and a number of baling (miniature “meat” torma balls) along with tea or alcohol when offering the serkyem (golden fulfillment) for the protectors. Dragmo Gyalmo. each ornamented with 3 tepchu each made in their respective shapes. The version used at Tara Mandala is slightly different.

's-Gravenhage: Mouton. René De." Himalayan Art Resources. the Cult and Iconography of the Tibetan Protective Deities. 2013. Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation. Matthieu Ricard.References "Himalayan Art Resources. n. Web. NY: State University of New York. Print. Namkhai.. May the glorious protectors of the Dzinpa Rangdröl forgive any errors and mistakes. Tulku Sang-Ngag Rinpoche.) Compiled by Jampa Thrinley (Erik Andersson) at the request of Lama Tsultrim Allione. and Michal Abrams. Źabs-dkar. <http://www. and other various sources that I failed to keep track of during my research. Lama Sarah Harding. Print. Khenpo Urgyen Wangchuk.   Tshogs-drug-raṅ-grol.org/>. Namkha’i Norbu Rinpoche. 1994.himalayanart. Norbu.   (Also referenced are the oral instructions of Lama Tsultrim Allione. 1956. Tantra. and Dzogchen: The Teachings of Namkhai Norbu. and may the dedicated practitioners of this lineage remain forever protected in the fierce embrace of the dharmapalas. Constance Wilkinson. Print. Nebesky-Wojkowitz..d. May all beings benefit! . 1986. The Crystal and the Way of Light: Sutra. New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Machig-ma’s emanation. Oracles and Demons of Tibet. The Life of Shabkar: The Autobiography of a Tibetan Yogin. Albany.