The Indian Buddhist Iconography

by Benoytosh Bhattachacharyya | 1958 | ISBN-10: 8173053138 | ISBN-13: 9788173053139

This page contains an iconography image of Emanations of Amoghasiddhi: Parnashabari (Parnashavari) and represents figure 173-174 of the book Indian Buddhist Iconography, based on extracts of the Sadhanamala English translation. These plates and illustrations represent either photographs of sculptures or line-drawing reproductions of paintings or other representations of Buddhist artwork.

Figure 173-174 - Emanations of Amoghasiddhi: Parṇaśabarī (Parṇaśavarī)

Parnashabari 1
Fig. 173: Parṇaśabarī
Parnashabari 2
Fig. 174: Parṇaśabarī

Colour: green;
Faces: three;
Vāhana: diseases (in human form);
Āsana: pratyālīḍha.

One form of Parṇaśabarī of yellow colour has already been discussed along with the female emanations of the Dhyāni Buddha Akṣobhya. But here her complexion is green probably because the Dhyāni Buddha Amoghasiddhi, from whom she is said to emanate, is of that colour. The Mantra calls her ‘Piśācī’ and also ‘Sarvamāripraśamanī’ or “the destroyer of all diseases and epidemics”. She is almost identical with the form that has been described previously, except that here her colour is green and she bears the image of Amoghasiddhi on her crown, instead of that of Akṣobhya. She carries the same weapons as the previous one, but the expressions of their faces are very different, there a pleasant beaming smile, here an angry laugh.

As the two specimens of Parṇaśabarī discovered in East Bengal both bearing the image of Amoghasiddhi on the crown, it is necessary to quote the Dhyāna in this case also, for a comparison of the details with the images reproduced here :

“The worshipper should conceive himself as Parṇaśabarī, who has a green complexion, three-faces, three eyes, and six arms. Her right and left faces are of blue and white colour respectively. She carries in her three right hands the Vajra, the Paraśu and the arrow, and in her three left, the bow, the cluster of leaves and the Tarjanīpāśa. Her faces show an angry laugh. She is in the prime of youth, is decked in tiger-skin and a garment of leaves, has a slightly protruding belly, and hair tied up above. She tramples under her feet various diseases and pestilences, and bears the image of Amoghasiddhi on the crown Thus meditating...”.

The two images of Parṇaśabarī (Figs. 173 and 174) have been discovered by Mr. N. K. Bhattasali. These two images follow the Sādhana most accurately in all details ; the angry laugh has been correctly depicted in the three faces, and the belly slightly protrudes. To the right and left are two divinities, Hayagrīva, the Hindu god of Fever, and Sītalā, the Hindu goddess of small-pox, and they are represented in the images as flying in opposite directions to escape the wrath of Parṇaśabarī. The prostrate figures under the feet are the Diseases and Pestilences, in human shape. The figure under the right leg, apparently, is a man attacked with small-pox, as we can judge from the circular marks all over his body; the other figure under the left foot, is probably attacked with some fatal disease. Both the images of Parṇaśabarī are decidedly very fine specimens of the Bengal school of art.

Parṇaśabarī is represented in Tibet and China.

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