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    Saturday, January 30, 2010

    The Dzogchen Protectors

    42. Tseringma


    The Himalayan goddess Tseringma “Auspicious Lady of Long Life” and her four sisters represent the formidable spiritual power held in the towering peaks of that range. She is typically portrayed holding a vajra and the long-life vase and riding a blue-eyed lion with red and gold mane and tail.

    In the eighth century, Padmasambhava was said to have tamed these mountain goddesses by demonstrating for them the supremacy of the Buddha Dharma, with its teaching of wisdom and love holding the spiritual key to the purpose of divine as well as human life.

    In the eleventh century, they confronted the great yogi Milarepa as they put him to the test of his principles to see whether he was motivated by wisdom and altruism or by selfish ambition. When he finally responded to their aggressive attacks by offering his own body as a sacrifice to nourish them, they were persuaded of his authenticity and renewed their pledge to protect the Dharma and its practitioners.

    Her four sisters with their typical attributes are:

    Tingeyalzunma,“Fair Lady of the Blue Face” riding a wild ass and offering a mirror and a banner;

    Miyo Longzunma “Immutable Fair Lady of Heaven” riding a tiger and offering a mongoose and a dish of food;

    Jeuben Drinzunma “Crowned Lady of Good Voice” riding a mule and offering a sack and a wish-granting jewel; and

    Degar Drozunma “Fair Lady of Virtue and Action” riding a dragon and holding a snake and a bundle of shrubs, possibly as the offering for increasing livestock.