Imprecatory Female Spirits

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Imprecatory Female Spirits ma mo

  • The imprecatory female spirits (Skt.mātaraḥ) are generally depicted as ugly, ferocious, dark-complexioned, and half-naked with emaciated breasts and matted hair. They invoke curses and imprecations, inflicting plague (dal yams) on living beings. The imprecatory female spirits were subdued by Padmasambhava on Mount Chu-bo-ri. Among their many classes, the most important are the supramundane protectress Śrīdevī (Tib. dpal ldan lha mo), the eight mātaraḥ (ma mo brgyad), headed by Gaurī, who form one sub-category of the fifty-eight wrathful deities, and the meditational deity known as Imprecatory Mātaraḥ (ma mo rbod gtong), which is one of the eight principal meditational deities of Mahāyoga. On the various classes of mundane imprecatory female spirits, see Nebesky-Wojkowitz, Oracles and Demons of Tibet, pp. 269-273. GD (from the Glossary to Tibetan Elemental Divination Paintings)