Phalden Lhamo is a major protector deity and the only goddess in the group of deities known as the Dharmapala. A favourite deity of the Gelukpa ('Yellow Hat') sect, Phalden Lhamo is regarded as a protector of the Dalai Lama and the city of Lhasa. As a protector deity, Phalden Lhamo is depicted with a wrathful demeanour, riding an untamed mule through a sea of entrails and blood. Blue-black and haggish with three bulging eyes, upturned nose, ferocious mouth and flaming hair topped by a skull crown, she holds a skull bowl filled with bleeding organs and plucked-out eyeballs, and brandishes a 'vajra'-topped club. Below, her retinue includes the minor female divinities ('dakinis') Makaravaktra' ('crocodile-faced'), who leads her mule, and Simhavaktra, the red-bodied, lion-faced deity. This 'thangka' retains its traditional silk brocade mount.
The Asian Collections, AGNSW, 2003, pg.61.
Phalden Lhamo Remati
Sri Devi riding a mule with attendant Gods
Place where the work was made
late 18th century-early 19th century
thangka; distemper on sized cotton with silk brocade mount
134 x 80.0 cm; 144.6 x 85.3 cm frame
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Not on display
Where the work was made
Shown in 1 exhibition
A survey of Indian art (1967), Fisher Library, University of Sydney, Sydney, 06 Sep 1967–23 Sep 1967
Referenced in 1 publication
Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2003, 61 (colour illus.).