Antique Chinese 17th Century Ming Gilt Bronze Palden Lhamo 吉祥天母 Consecrated Buddha Statue
Antique Chinese Gilt Bronze Buddha Statue
Palden Lhamo 吉祥天母
Dharmapala on White Mule
Circa: Ming Dynasty, 17th-18th century
H 8.75 in. (22cm.), W 8.25 in. (21cm.), D 3 in. (7.5cm.)
Condition: very good, lost trident
A rare 17th century Ming bronze Palden Lhamo, the Goddess of Wealth. She is seated sideways in a striking pose, on a flayed human skin saddle on a mule galloping on a pedestal of a sea of blood and body parts. Palden Lhamo wears a skull crown with a crescent moon over her upswept hair, while her open mouth is crunching on a corpse in its large fangs, her three glaring eyes staring down at the skull cup in her left hand, a trident held in her raised right hand is now missing, adorning her chest is two human feet and a dangling solar disk, wrapping around her is a long rosary string of human heads that symbolizes the conquest of evil.
The figure is based on the Tibetan rendition of the Indian Goddess Shridevi, while as the Queen of Sri Lanka, she opposed to the king's practice of human sacrifice, and consequently killed their son. Palden Lhamo is a tutelary goddess introduced to Tibet in the 10th century. She is the only female deity among the Eight Great Dharmapalas, the obstacle removers, and guardians of Buddhist Dharma. The Goddess is the principle protectress of Tibet, and the guardian deity of Dalai Lamas worshipped as the Auspicious Heavenly Mother on the 15th of the Ten Moon of the Tibetan calendar; she was also worshipped as a protector of Imperial China beginning from the Yuan Dynasty in the 14th century to the end of the Qing in the early 1900s'. The statue is sealed and consecrated with sanctimonious materials, along with a series of delicately engraved illegible characters visible on the on the underside of the mule.