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Parṇaśavarī-dhāraṇī: A New Translation of the ‘Dhāraṇī of Parṇaśavarī’ from the Tibetan Buddhist Scriptural Canon (Kangyur)

Parṇaśavarī-dhāraṇī: A New Translation of the Dhāraṇī of Parṇaśavarī from the Tibetan Buddhist Scriptural Canon (Kangyur)

by Erick Tsiknopoulos, 2021

Introduction:

Parṇaśavarī is a Buddhist goddess primarily associated with dispelling pandemics, epidemics and contagious diseases. This scripture has been translated into English here due to the circumstances of the 2020-21 global COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on Parṇaśavarī, please read the Introduction provided in the English translation of Yellow, Red and Black Parṇaśavarī Mantra Practices for Pacifying the Pandemic, by Erick Tsiknopoulos, 2020.


འཕགས་མ་རི་ཁྲོད་ལོ་མ་གྱོན་པ་ཞེས་བྱ་བའི་གཟུངས།
The Noble Dhāraṇī of Parṇaśavarī

རྒྱུད། ན
From the Tantra (rgyud) section of the Kangyur (the Tibetan Buddhist Scriptural Canon), Volume Na, Lhasa edition

རྒྱ་གར་སྐད་དུ། ཨཱརྱ་པརྞྞ་ཤ་བ་རི་ནཱ་མ་དྷཱ་ར་ཎཱི།
In the Indian language [Sanskrit]: Ārya Parṇṇaśavari Nāma Dhāraṇī (ārya-parṇṇaśavari1-nāma-dhāraṇī)

བོད་སྐད་དུ། འཕགས་མ་རི་ཁྲོད་ལོ་མ་གྱོན་མ་ཞེས་བྱ་བའི་གཟུངས།
In the Tibetan Language: P’akma Rit’rölogyönma Zheyjawa’y Zung (‘phags ma ri khrod lo gyon ma zhes bya ba’i gzungs)

In the English Language: The Noble Dhāraṇī of Parṇaśavarī (Parṇaśavarī: A Noble Dhāraṇī)


[When performing the practice of the Dhāraṇī of Parṇaśavarī, it is traditional to recite from the beginning as follows:]

འཕགས་མ་རི་ཁྲོད་ལོ་མ་གྱོན་མ་ལ་ཕྱག་འཚལ་ལོ།
P’AK-MA RI-T’RÖ LO-MA GYÖN-MA LA CH’AK-TS’EL LO
Homage to the Noble Parṇaśavarī.

།དཀོན་མཆོག་གསུམ་ལ་ཕྱག་འཚལ་ལོ།
KÖN-CH’OK SUM LA CH’AK-TS’EL LO
Homage to the Precious Triple Gem.

།བཅོམ་ལྡན་འདས་དེ་བཞིན་གཤེགས་པ་དགྲ་བཅོམ་པ་ཡང་དག་པར་རྫོགས་པའི་སངས་རྒྱས་འོད་དཔག་ཏུ་མེད་པ་ལ་ཕྱག་འཚལ་ལོ།
CHOM-DEN-DAY DÉ-ZHIN-SHEK-PA DRA-CHOM-PA YANG-DAK-PAR DZÖK-PA’Y SANG-GYAY Ö-PAK-TU-MEY-PA LA CH’AK-TS’EL LO
Homage to the Bhagavān, the Tathāgata, the Arhat, the Samyaksambuddha Amitābha.

།བྱང་ཆུབ་སེམས་དཔའ་སེམས་དཔའ་ཆེན་པོ་འཕགས་པ་སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག་ཐུགས་རྗེ་ཆེན་པོ་༄༅། །དང་ལྡན་པ་ལ་ཕྱག་འཚལ་ལོ།
JANG-CH’UP-SEM-PA SEM-PA-CH’EN-PO P’AK-PA CHEN-RAY-ZIK WANG-CH’UK T’UK-JÉ-CH’EN-PO DANG-DEN-PA LA CH’AK-TS’EL LO
Homage to the Bodhisattva, the Mahāsattva, the Ārya Avalokiteśvara, endowed with great compassion.

།བྱང་ཆུབ་སེམས་དཔའ་སེམས་དཔའ་ཆེན་པོ་མཐུ་ཆེན་པོ་ཐོབ་པ་ལ་ཕྱག་འཚལ་ལོ།
JANG-CH’UP-SEM-PA SEM-PA-CH’EN-PO T’U-CH’EN-PO-T’OP LA CH’AK-TS’EL LO
Homage to the Bodhisattva, the Mahāsattva Mahāsthāmaprāpta.

།བཅོམ་ལྡན་འདས་མ་མིའུ་ཐུང་ཤ་ཟ་མོ་རི་ཁྲོད་ལོ་མ་གྱོན་མ་དགྲ་སྟ་དང༌། ཞགས་པ་འཛིན་མ་ཁྱོད་ལ་ཕྱག་འཚལ་ལོ།
CHOM-DEN-DAY-MA MIU-T’UNG SHA-ZA-MO RI-T’RÖ-LO-GYÖN-MA DRA-TA DANG/ ZHAK-PA DZIN-MA KHYÖ LA CH’AK-TS’EL LO
Homage to You: The Bhagavatī, the Dwarfish Piśacī Parṇaśavarī, she who wields an ax and lasso.

།འཇིགས་པ་གང་དག་ཅི་བྱུང་བ་དེ་དག་ཐམས་ཅད་དང༌།
JIK-PA GANG-DAK CHI JUNG-WA DÉ-DAK T’AM-CHAY DANG
Anything and everything comprising dangers that might come to pass:

ཡམས་ཀྱི་ནད་གང་དག་ཅི་ཡང་རུང་བ་དང༌།
YAM KYI NAY GANG-DAK CHI-YANG RUNG-WA DANG
Any diseases which are contagious whatsoever,

འཆི་བྱེད་གང་དག་ཅི་ཡང་རུང་བ་དང༌།
CH’I-JEY GANG-DAK CHI-YANG RUNG-WA DANG
Anything which is lethal whatsoever,

འཆི་བྱེད་ཆེན་པོ་གང་དག་ཅི་ཡང་རུང་བ་དང༌།
CH’I-JEY CH’EN-PO GANG-DAK CHI-YANG RUNG-WA DANG
Anything which is highly lethal whatsoever,

གནོད་པ་གང་དག་ཅི་ཡང་རུང་བ་དང༌།
NÖ-PA GANG-DAK CHI-YANG RUNG-WA DANG
Anything which is harmful whatsoever,

འཁྲུག་པ་གང་དག་ཅི་ཡང་རུང་བ་དང༌།
T’RUK-PA GANG-DAK CHI-YANG RUNG-WA DANG
Anything which is disturbing whatsoever,

ཁོང་དུ་གནོད་པ་གང་དག་ཅི་ཡང་རུང་བ་དང༌།
KHONG-DU NÖ-PA GANG-DAK CHI-YANG RUNG-WA DANG
Anything which is personally distressing2 whatsoever;

གང་དག་ཅི་བྱུང་བ་དེ་དག་ཐམས་ཅད་ནི།
GANG-DAK CHI JUNG-WA DÉ-DAK T’AM-CHAY NI
All of these that can potentially arise,

བྱིས་པ་ཁོ་ན་ལ་འབྱུང་གི
JIY-PA KHO-NA LA JUNG GI
Occur only for the childish (and foolish),

།མཁས་པ་ལ་ནི་མ་ཡིན་ནོ།
KHAY-PA LA NI MA-YIN NO
But never for the wise (and skillful).

།བདེན་པ་དང༌།
DEN-PA DANG
By this truth,

བདེན་པའི་ཚིག་དང༌།
DEN-PA’Y TS’IK DANG
By these words of truth,

བདེན་པའི་ངག་གིས་སོང་ཞིག
DEN-PA’Y NGAK GIY SONG ZHIK
And by this speech of truth, may they be sent away!

།དེངས་ཤིག
DENG SHIK
May they be dispersed!

།མཁས་པས་བྱིན་གྱིས་བརླབས་པའི་གསང་སྔགས་ཀྱི་གཞི་འདི་དག་གིས་བདག་དང༌།
KHAY-PAY JIN-GYIY-LAP-PA’Y SANG-NGAK KYI ZHI DI-DAK GIY DAK DANG
Through these sources of Secret Mantra, blessed by the wise,

སེམས་ཅན་ཐམས་ཅད་ལ་སྲུང་བར་མཛོད་ཅིག
SEM-CHEN T’AM-CHAY LA S’UNG-WAR DZÖ CHIK
May I and all sentient beings be assured protection.

།ཡོངས་སུ་བསྐྱབ་པར་མཛོད་ཅིག
YONG-SU KYAP-PAR DZÖ CHIK
May our complete safety be assured.

།ཡོངས་སུ་གཟུང་བར་མཛོད་ཅིག
YONG-SU ZUNG-WAR DZÖ CHIK
May our total safekeeping be assured.

།ཡོངས་སུ་བསྐྱང་བར་མཛོད་ཅིག
YONG-SU KYANG-WAR DZÖ CHIK
May our thorough preservation be assured.

།ཞི་བ་དང་བདེ་ལེགས་སུ་མཛོད་ཅིག
ZHI-WA DÉ-LEK SU DZÖ CHIK
May our peace and perfect happiness be assured.

།ཆད་པ་སྤང་བར་མཛོད་ཅིག
CH’AY-PA PANG-WAR DZÖ CHIK
May our escape from punishment be assured.

།མཚོན་ཆ་སྤང་བར་མཛོད་ཅིག
TS’ÖN-CH’A PANG-WAR DZÖ CHIK
May our escape from weapons be assured.

།ཇི་སྲིད་དུ་དུག་གཞོམ་པའི་བར་དུ་མཛོད་ཅིག
JI-S’IY-DU DUK ZHOM-PA’Y BAR-DU DZÖ CHIK
May our elimination of poisons, for however long they remain, be assured.

།མེའི་གནོད་པ་སྤང་བར་མཛོད་ཅིག
MÉ’I NÖ-PA PANG-WAR DZÖ CHIK
May our escape from fire damage be assured.

།ཆུའི་གནོད་པ་སྤང་བར་མཛོད་ཅིག
CH’U’I NÖ-PA PANG-WAR DZÖ CHIK
May our escape from water damage be assured.

།བྱད་སྟེམས་གཅད་པར་མཛོད་ཅིག
JAY-TEM CHAY-PAR DZÖ CHIK
May our neutralizing of curses and sorcerous spells be assured.

།མཚམས་བཅིང་བར་མཛོད་ཅིག
TS’AM CHING-WAR DZÖ CHIK
May control over our boundaries be assured.

།ས་གཞི་བཅིང་བར་མཛོད་ཅིག
SA-ZHI CHING-WAR DZÖ CHIK
May control over our lands on this earth be assured!

[The Preliminary Mantra of Parṇaśavarī, which is usually recited only one to three times, is as follows:]

།ཏདྱ་ཐཱ། ཨ་མྲྀ་ཏེ་ཨ་མྲྀ་ཏེ། ཨ་མྲྀ་ཏ་ཨུདྦྷ་བེ། ཨ་མྲྀ་ཏ་སཾ་བྷ་བེ༑ ཨཱ་ཤྭསྟེ། ཨཱ་ཤྭསྟཾ་གེ། མཱ་མ་ར་མཱ་མ་ར། མཱ་ས་ར་མཱ་ས་ར།
TADYATHĀ/ AMṚTE AMṚTE/ AMṚTODBHAVE/ AMṚTASAṂBHAVE/ ĀŚVASTE/ AŚVASTAṄGE3/ MĀ MARA MĀ MARA/ MĀ SARA MĀ SARA

Tibetan pronunciation:
TAY-YATHĀ/ AMṚITE AMṚITE/ AMṚITODBHABE/ AMṚITASANG-BHABE/ ĀSHWASTE/ ASHWASTANG-GE/ MĀ MARA MĀ MARA/ MĀ SARA MĀ SARA

ཞི་བར་མཛོད།
ZHI-WAR DZÖ
Ensure pacification!

ནད་ཐམས་ཅད་ཉེ་བར་ཞི་བར་མཛོད།
NAY T’AM-CHAY NYÉ-WAR ZHI-WAR DZÖ
Ensure the total pacification of all disease!

དུས་མ་ཡིན་པར་འཆི་བ་ཐམས་ཅད་ཉེ་བར་ཞི་བར་མཛོད།
DÜ-MA-YIN-PAR CH’I-WA T’AM-CHAY NYÉ-WAR ZHI-WAR DZÖ
Ensure the total pacification of all untimely death!

གཟའ་དང་རྒྱུ་སྐར་གྱི་ཉེས་པ་ཐམས་ཅད་ཉེ་བར་ཞི་བར་མཛོད།
ZA DANG GYU-KAR GYI NYEY-PA T’AM-CHAY NYÉ-WAR ZHI-WAR DZÖ
Ensure the total pacification of all detriment from planets and constellations!4

འཆི་བའི་དུག་ཐམས་ཅད་ཉེ་བར་ཞི་བར་མཛོད།
CH’I-WA’Y DUK T’AM-CHAY NYÉ-WAR ZHI-WAR DZÖ
Ensure the total pacification of all deadly poisons!

བཅོམ་ལྡན་འདས་མ་རི་ཁྲོད་ལོ་མ་ཅན།
CHOM-DEN-DAY-MA RI-T’RÖ-LO-MA-CHEN
O World-Honored Lady (Bhagavatī) bearing the leaves of mountain groves (Parṇaśavarī)!5

[The Main Dhāraṇī of Parṇaśavarī, which is meant to be recited many times, up to hundreds or thousands of repetitions, is as follows:]

ཏུནྣ་ཏུནྣ། བི་ཏུནྣ་བི་ཏུནྣ། ཏུ་ཎ་ཏུ་ཎ། ཏུ་མུ་ལ་སྭཱཧཱ། ཨོཾ་གཽ་རི། གནྡྷ་རི། ཙཎྜཱལི། མཱ་ཏཾ་གི། བུཀྐ་སི་སྭཱཧཱ། ཨོཾ་ཨཾ་ཀུ་རེ། མཾ་ཀུ་རེ། ཀུ་ར་རེ། པརྞྞ་ཤ་བ་རི་སྭཱཧཱ། ན་མཿ་སརྦ་ཤ་བ་རཱི་ཎཱཾ། མཧཱ་ཤ་བ་རཱི་ཎཱཾ། བྷ་ག་བ་ཏི་པི་ཤཱ་ཙི། པརྞྞ་ཤ་བ་རི་པི་ཤཱ་ཙི་སྭཱཧཱ། ཨོཾ་པི་ཤཱ་ཙི་པརྞྞ་ཤ་བ་རི་ཧྲཱིཿ་ཛཿ་ཧཱུཾ་ཕཊ་པི་ཤཱ་ཙི་སྭཱཧཱ།
TUNNA TUNNA/ VITUNNA VITUNNA/ TUṆA TUṆA/ TUMULA6 SVĀHĀ/ OṂ GAURI7/ GANDHARI8/ CAṆḌĀLI9/ MĀTAṄGI10/ PUKKASI11 SVĀHĀ/ OṂ AṄKURE/ MAṄKURE/ KURARE12/ PARṆṆAŚAVARI13 SVĀHĀ/ NAMAḤ14 SARVA ŚAVARĪṆĀṂ/ MAHĀŚAVARĪṆĀṂ/ BHAGAVATI PIŚĀCI/ PARṆṆAŚAVARI PIṢĀCI SVĀHĀ/ OṂ PIŚĀCI PARṆṆAŚAVARI HRĪḤ JAḤ HŪṂ PHAṬ PIŚĀCI SVĀHĀ

Tibetan pronunciation:
TUNNA TUNNA/ BITUNNA BITUNNA/ TUṆA TUṆA/ TUMULA SWOHĀ/ OṂ GAURI/ GANDHARI/ TSAṆḌĀLI/ MĀTANG-GI/ PUKKASI SWOHĀ/ OṂ ANG-KURE/ MANG-KURE/ KURARE/ PARṆṆASHABARI SWOHĀ/ NAMAḤ SARBA SHABARĪṆĀNG/ MAHĀSHABARĪṆĀNG/ BHAGABATI PISHĀTSI/ PARṆṆASHABARI PISHĀTSI SWOHĀ/ OṂ PISHĀTSI PARṆṆASHABARI HRĪḤ DZAḤ HŪNG P’AYṬ PISHĀTSI SWOHĀ

འཕགས་མ་རི་ཁྲོད་མ་ལོ་མ་གྱོན་མའི་གཟུངས་རྫོགས་སོ།། །།
THE DHĀRAṆĪ OF PARṆAŚAVARĪ IS COMPLETE.

(Translated from the Tibetan by Erick Tsiknopoulos, March 20th-21st, 2021.)

Bibliography and References:

  • The Dhāraṇī of Parṇaśavarī (Parṇa­śavarī­dhāraṇī), 84000, translated by Ryan Damron and Wiesiek Mical, available for viewing at: https://read.84000.co/translation/toh736.html
  • The Rangjung Yeshe Dharma Dictionary Wiki (http://rywiki.tsadra.org/)
  • The Rigpa Shedra Wiki (https://www.rigpawiki.org/)
  • Wisdom Library (https://www.wisdomlib.org/), The Matsya-purāṇa, Shaktism, et al.
  • Is the Mind in Search of Itself?, Herbert Guenther, 2000
  • The Structure and Meanings of the Heruka Maṇḍala in the Buddhist Ḍākārṇava Scriptural Tradition, Sunehiko Sugiki, 2018
  • A practical Hindi-English dictionary, Mahendra Caturvedi, 1970
  • The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary, J. T. Molesworth, 1857
  • A Fragment of the Vajrāmṛtamahātantra: A Critical Edition of the Leaves Contained in Cambridge University Library Or.158.1, Francesco Sferra, 2017
  • The Indian Buddhist Iconography: Mainly Based on the Sadhanamala and Cognate Tantric Texts of Rituals, Benotoysh Bhattacharyya, 1958
  • The Structure and Meanings of the Heruka Maṇḍala in the Buddhist Ḍākārṇava Scriptural Tradition, Sunehiko Sugiki, 2018
  • Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra, Vol. 1, Helen M. Johnson, 1931
  • Eating the Heart of the Brahmin: Representations of Alterity and the Formation of Identity in Tantric Buddhist Discourse, David B. Gray, 2005
  • Offering Prayer to Mātṛkā Pukkasī, translated by Stefan Mang and Peter Woods, 2018 (Lotsawa House)

Footnotes:

1 Parṇaśavarī is spelled with two ’s here.

2 Sanskrit: ādhyātmikā bhayāḥ. This refers to dangerous external conditions which cause “internal damage” (khong du gnod pa) to the body and mind.

3 Parallel texts – other versions of the Kangyur and/or the Sanskrit Sādhanamālā – have AŚVASTĀṄGE.

4 Astrological obstacles. Gza’ dang rgyu skar gyi nyes pa

5 The Sanskrit for this section, as attested in Sādhanamālā no. 150, is: praśama upaśama sarva-vyādhīn upaśama sarvā-kālamṛtyūn upaśama sarva-nakṣatra-graha-doṣān upaśama sarva-daṃṣṭrināṃ copaśama bhagavati parṇa-śavari. Note 23 to the 84000 translation reads: “In the Tibetan text this passage has been translated into Tibetan, and so following that decision we have translated it into English here. It seems, however, that this passage is meant to be included in the dhāraṇī recitation, as was understood by the translators and editors of the Phukdrak Kangyur, who left it in Sanskrit.”

6 Parallel texts – as listed above – have TUMULE.

7 Gaurī is a female deity in esoteric Buddhist literature whose name means ‘bright white’. The related Hindi word goraa (descended from the Sanskrit gaurā) is a term used to describe light complexioned, fair-skinned, blonde, white or European/Caucasian people. The Eight Gaurīmas: There is a group of Eight Gaurīs or Gaurīmas (Tib. ga’u ri [ma] brgyad, gau ri [ma] brgyad, ko’u ri [ma] brgyad or ke’u ri [ma] brgyad), including Caṇḍālī, Pukkasi and Gaurī herself; thus three of the five goddesses featured in this line of the dhāraṇī belong to the group of Eight Gaurīmas. The Eight Gaurīs, Gaurīmas, Mātṛkās, Mātaraḥs or Wrathful Female Deities are: 1) Gaurī or Gaurīma (Tib. ko’u ri [ma], ko’u rii [ma], ga’u ri [ma], ga’u rii [ma], gau ri [ma], gau rii [ma], ke’u ri [ma], ke’u rii [ma], goo ri [ma], go rii [ma], goo rii [ma]), 2) Pukkasī (Tib. pus ka si, pus kas sii, pukka si, puk kas sii), 3) Caurī or Caurīma (Tib. tso’u ri [ma], tso’u rii [ma], tsoo ri [ma], tso rii [ma], tsoo rii [ma]), 4) Ghasmarī (Tib. kas ma ri, kas ma rii, gha sma ri, gha sma rii), 5) Pramohā (Tib. pra mo, pra mo ha, pra ma haa), 6) Caṇḍālī (Tib. tsan dha li, tsan dha lii, tsaN Da li, tsaN Da lii), 7) Vetālī (Tib. be’e ta li, be’e ta lii, be ta li, be ta lii), 8) Śmaśānī (Tib. sme sha ni, sme sha nii, sma sha ni, sma sha nii). They are also known as the ‘Eight Wrathful Females’ or ‘Eight Wrathful Goddesses’ (khro mo brgyad), and are identified in particular as being synonymous with the Eight Mātṛkās or Mātaraḥs (ma mo brgyad), the Eight Mātṛkās of Sacred Places (gnas kyi ma mo brgyad) and the Eight Wrathful Goddesses of Sacred Places (gnas kyi khro mo brgyad). These different terms for the same set of eight goddesses are thus all equivalent. A Mātṛkā or Mātaraḥ may be defined as an “imprecatory female spirit”, but more commonly as a mother deity, mother goddess or “divine mother” (mātṛkā and mātaraḥ meaning ‘mother’ or more revealingly, ‘matrix’). The root of this concept of Mātṛkās or Mātaraḥs goes back far into the ancient history of India, perhaps being even pre-Vedic; much later they were incorporated as Tantric deities in both Hinduism and Buddhism, and a set of 7, 8 or 9 Mātṛkās exists in the Hindu pantheon. The Tibetan term mamo is more commonly used in Vajrayāna Buddhist circles than the original Sanskrit terms. Significantly, these eight female deities are also counted among the Fifty-eight Herukas (or ‘wrathful deities’, khrag ‘thung lnga brgyad), specifically as part of the retinue or assembly of the Herukas of the Five Buddha Families. Clearly then, in this dhāraṇī Parṇaśavarī is being overtly associated with the Eight Gaurīmas and thereby with Mamos. It thus seems likely that Parṇaśavarī is considered to also be a kind of Mātṛkā or Mātaraḥ, and similar in nature and characteristics to the eight individual goddesses of the Gaurīma group. One obvious point in this regard is that Parṇaśavarī represents a female member of one of the lowest castes in India (in her case, a “wild” tribal woman who lives on the outskirts of human society within the deep forests of South Asia), as do most of the Gaurīmas who likewise represent particular types of low-caste women (and are thus symbolic of these castes themselves). Like the Gaurīmas she has control over plagues, pandemics and other natural disasters. All of them are therefore, in essence, wrathful female nature deities with control over the elements, who hold sway over certain forces of the natural environment. Herbert Guenther’s essay Is the Mind in Search of Itself? (2000), which can be read here, deals extensively with the Gaurī goddesses and their symbolism, and is well worth the read.

8 Parallel texts have GĀNDHĀRI, and the correct spelling for this name is usually listed as either Gāndhārī or Gandhārī, a name commonly found throughout Indian traditions including Hinduism and Jainism. She is a frequently invoked female deity in esoteric Buddhist literature whose name may have some connection to the ancient Gandhari people and language of Gandhara in Northwest India (modern day Pakistan and Afghanistan). Gandhārī (गन्धारी) or Gandharvī is the name of a Ḍākinī who, together with the Vīra (hero) named Gandhahara forms one of the 36 pairs situated in the Ākāśa-cakra, according to the 10th century Ḍākārṇava, chapter 15. Accordingly, the ākāśa-cakra refers to one of the three divisions of the dharma-puṭa (‘dharma layer’), situated in the Heruka-maṇḍala. The 36 pairs of Ḍākinīs [viz., Gandhārī] and Vīras are dark blue in color; they each have one face and four arms; they hold a skull bowl, a skull staff, a small drum, and a knife. Alternatively, the Ḍākinīs have their own marks and motions according to the taste instead of a small drum and a skull staff (The Structure and Meanings of the Heruka Maṇḍala in the Buddhist Ḍākārṇava Scriptural Tradition, Sunehiko Sugiki, 2018).

9 Caṇḍālī is a female deity in esoteric Buddhist literature whose name references one of the lowest castes in Indian society, the Caṇḍālas, caṇḍālī specifically meaning a female member of that caste. Caṇḍāla is a Sanskrit word for someone who deals with the disposal of corpses as their profession (by birth), and is a Hindu lower caste, traditionally considered to be untouchable or ‘outcaste’. Vedic literature also mentions some groups such as Caṇḍālas who were outside the four-varṇa classification. They were referred to as belonging to the “panchama varṇa”, meaning ‘fifth caste’. The Yajur-veda mentions their degradation from the varṇa classes, mentioning the Caṇḍāla group in particular, who were said to be the untouchable class of people born of the union between a Shudra male and a Brahmin female. There are frequent references to forest-dwellers in post-Rigvedic literature; the Caṇḍālas were one of these primitive people, who belonged to the fringes of society. In some Indian languages such as Hindi, Chandāl (चांडाल) is also used as a pejorative reference to a mean or low person, and has been defined as “a sub-caste amongst the shudras taken to be the lowest in the traditional Hindu caste hierarchy; (a) low-born; wretched, wicked, depraved; cruel” (A practical Hindi-English dictionary, Mahendra Caturvedi, 1970). In the Marathi language, caṇḍāḷī (चंडाळी), also caṇḍāḷīṇa, is “a female of the caṇḍāḷa caste; hence a foul and disgusting, or a fierce, savage, and violent woman”; implying that the word has both a literal and metaphorical meaning. Alternatively it can mean “mad or monstrous deeds; a fit of fury or rage; the vehement bellowing and wild frantic action of a child in a passion” (The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary, J. T. Molesworth, 1857). As a Buddhist goddess, Caṇḍālī (चण्डाली) refers one of the Eight Gaurīs, commonly depicted in Tantric iconography and mentioned in the 11th-century Niṣpannayogāvalī of Mahāpaṇḍita Abhayākara. Her colour is blue; her symbol is the fire-pot; she has two arms. The seventh goddess in the Gaurī group is Caṇḍālī (The Indian Buddhist Iconography: Mainly Based on the Sadhanamala and Cognate Tantric Texts of Rituals, Benotoysh Bhattacharyya, 1958). ‘Cāṇḍālī’ also refers to one of the eight wisdom goddesses (vidyās) described in the ‘śrīheruka-utpatti’ chapter of the 9thcentury Vajrāmṛta-tantra or Vajrāmṛtamahā-tantra: one of the main and earliest Buddhist Yoginī-tantras. Chapter 8 contains the description of how to visualise Śrī-heruka […] The great Vajra-holder should summon the glorious form of Heruka, who is devouring the Devas together with Indra, Brahmā, Viṣṇu, and Śiva. Then the text lists the eight Wisdoms (vidyā) [viz., Cāṇḍālī], […], expounds the words that the practitioner has to mutter when he is pushed by these wisdoms […] (A Fragment of the Vajrāmṛtamahātantra: A Critical Edition of the Leaves Contained in Cambridge University Library Or.158.1, Francesco Sferra, 2017). Caṇḍālī is also mentioned as the Ḍākinī of the north-western corner in the Jñānacakra, according to the 10th century Ḍākārṇava, chapter 15. Accordingly, the jñānacakra refers to one of the three divisions of the saṃbhoga-puṭa (‘enjoyment layer’), situated in the Heruka-maṇḍala. Two colors are evenly assigned to the four corner Ḍākinīs [viz., Caṇḍālī] in order in accordance with the direction which they face (The Structure and Meanings of the Heruka Maṇḍala in the Buddhist Ḍākārṇava Scriptural Tradition, Sunehiko Sugiki, 2018).

10 Mātaṅgī is a female deity in esoteric Buddhist literature whose name references one of the lowest castes in Indian society, namely the Mātaṅgas, mātaṅgī being a female member of the caste. Mātaṅgī also appears as the name of various goddesses and sages in Hinduism (esp. in Shaktism) and Jainism. In Shaktism, Mātaṅgī (मातङ्गी, “the elephant”) is the ninth of the ten Mahāvidyās (‘great wisdom goddesses’ or ‘great goddesses of spiritual knowledge’). She represents the Power of Domination. She appears as reassuring sunlight (after the night), establishing peace, calmness and prosperity. Mātaṅgī is often associated with pollution, especially left-over or partially eaten food (Ucçhishṭa, उच्छिष्ट) considered impure in Hinduism. She is often offered such polluted left-over food and is in one legend described to be born from it. Mātaṅgī is herself described as the “leftover” or “residue”, symbolizing the Divine Self that is left over after all things perish. As the patron of left-over food offerings, she embodies inauspiciousness and the forbidden transgression of social norms. Mātaṅgī is often described as an ‘outcaste’ and impure. Her association with pollution mainly streams from her relation to outcaste communities, considered to be polluted in ancient Hindu society. These social groups deal in occupations deemed inauspicious and polluted like the collection of waste, meat-processing and working in cremation grounds. In a Nepali context, such groups are collectively called Mātaṅgī, who collect waste—including human waste—and other inauspicious things, and often live outside villages. Thus she is associated with death, pollution, inauspiciousness and the outer periphery of ancient Indian society. She represents equality as she is worshiped by both upper and lower caste people. Mātaṅgī is also associated with forests and tribal peoples, who lie outside conventional society. Her thousand-name hymn from the Nanayavarta-tantra mentions lines that describe her as dwelling in, walking in, knowing and relishing the forest. The Ten Mahāvidyās are the emanations of Mahākālī, the Goddess of time and death; as such she is depicted as a fearful laughing goddess with four arms entwined with poisonous snakes in her hair. She has three red eyes, a wagging tongue and fearful teeth. Her left foot is standing on a corpse (Wisdom Library: ‘Shaktism’). In the Purāṇas, Mātaṅgī (मातङ्गी) is the name of a mind-born ‘divine mother’ (mātṛ), created for the purpose of drinking the blood of the Andhaka demons, according to the Matsya-purāṇa 179.8. The Andhaka demons spawned out of every drop of blood spilled from the original Andhakāsura (“Andhaka-demon”). According to the Matsya-purāṇa 179.35, “Most terrible they (e.g., Mātaṅgī) all drank the blood of those Andhakas and become exceedingly satiated” (The Matsya-purāṇa). In the Tantric traditions of Jainism, Mātaṅgī (मातङ्गी) or Mātaṅgīvidyā refers to one of the sixteen Vidyās (or Wisdom Goddesses) from which are derived the respective classes of Vidyādharas (in this case, Mātaṅga), according to chapter 1.3 [ādīśvara-caritra] of Hemacandra’s 11th century Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra (‘Lives of the 63 Illustrious Persons’), a Sanskrit epic poem narrating the history and legends of sixty-three important persons in Jainism (Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra, Vol. 1, Helen M. Johnson, 1931).

11 The text here has BUKKASI, but this should in fact be PUKASSI, here a goddess whose name, like the preceding CAṆḌĀLI and MĀTAṄGI, refers to a female member of a particular very low or untouchable caste in India. It can be spelled as either pukkasi or pukassī. As a Buddhist goddess, Pukassī is one of the Eight Gaurīs or Gaurīmas.

12 These three terms, AṄKURE, MAṄKURE, and KURARE, are considered to be alternate names or epithets of Parṇaśavarī.

13 As in the opening title, here and the subsequent two instances of her name are written with two ’s. Other versions have the usual spelling, simply PARṆAŚAVARI.

14 One Sanskrit version has NAMAS.