White Umbrella Goddess of the Five Families.
Throughout Tibet, it is common to see sacred images of a white-colored female protector, standing, with many arms and legs, wearing a skirt, and holding an umbrella. This is Duk Kar or Duk Karmo, White Umbrella Goddess. She is also called Tsuktor Barma, Blazing Crown Protuberance Goddess. She is revered in both Buddhism and Bön. The images of both religions are depicted quite similarly although they do have differences. However, the essence is the same: absolute and fierce protection from a base of compassion.
“Fear of an age of epidemics,
fear of violent epidemics,
fear of epidemics that last a day, a week, a month, or a year;
eliminate all of these as well as any other poison of unhappiness!
Destroy them with your phurba!”
— Extract from The Secret Sutra of White Tsuktor
“With the intense devotion and aspiration of my three doors to the Victorious Mother, Goddess of great love, Duk Kar, I Ioffer this request.
Reverse the discordant conditions for the 404 kinds of diseases, especially the 18 kinds of plagues!
Reverse all the waves of infectious diseases and epidemics!
Turn back all infectiouse diseases, violent illnesses and harm doers that damage the lifespan and the vitality!”
— Extract from The Complete Accomplishment of Aspirations Through Tsuktor Duk Kar’s Protection and Reversal of Interferences
In the Yungdrung Bön tradition, she manifests is three primary forms: White Umbrella Goddess of the Five Families, White Umbrella Goddess of Longevity, and White Umbrella Goddess of Prosperity. Among these, the principal deity is White Umbrella Goddess of the Five Families. In this form, she is called Tsuktor Rikngag Duk Karmo, White Umbrella Goddess who has the Five Families as a Crown Ornament. She stands in the midst of kalpa-destroying blazing flames, upon a throne of a sun, moon, and above intertwined arrogant demons. Her body is white and she has a thousand heads each with crown protusions and the face of Satrik Érsang. She has a thousand arms each holding a weapon with which to protect sentient beings. The right hand in front of her body holds a precious umbrella and the left hand holds a sharp blade (some images depict the left hand holding a vase.) Her 500 left legs are extended and suppress dü, srin, and gyalpo. Her 500 right legs are bent and overpower the groups of dön. She has eyes on the palm of each hand and the soles of each foot. She is adorned with crystal necklaces and wears a precious silk skirt.
“Emaho! How wonderful!
The essence of space, the Bönku is Sherap Jamma.
Complete resources and qualities, the Dzok ku is Lha Shen Sipa.
The emanation, the Tülku is Tsuktor Duk Kar Lhamo.
I supplicate to the three states of these perfect buddhas!”
— Extract from Spontaneous Accomplishment of the Purpose of Supplicating the Lineage of Duk Kar
In the East, North, West, South are her manifestations associated with the Yungdrung, Jewel, Lotus, and Wheel Buddha Families. Each have the body-color associated with their respective direction, stand upon a cushion of a sun, moon and lotus in the midst of blazing flames, have five faces, six arms with the middle two arms holding a sword and a phurba, four legs standing atop various demons and evil-minded beings, and wear an ornamented skirt.
Duk Karmo text with depictions of the deity and the terton Kündrol Drakpa. Photo credit: Raven Cypress Wood
“Extend the lifespan that has been depleted and produce good fortune where it has deteriorated!
Bring healing where the radiant complexion has faded away and increase longevity, prosperity, merit, and friends and family!
Please bestow favorable conditions for an abundance of auspiciousness, and pacify unfavorable conditions and obstacles!
Manifesting as a protector within our world, act so that bad years and epidemics do not arise!
Bring peace where there is warfare!
Bring timely rainfall, continual harvests, and auspiciousness!
Goddess, through your compassion, act on behalf of the peace, happiness, and prosperity of all sentient beings of the world!”
— Extract from The Practice of the White Umbrella Goddess, Source of the Crown Protuberance of All Those Who Have Gone Beyond Bliss
Tibetan translation by Raven Cypress Wood ©All Rights Reserved. No content, in part or in whole, is allowed to be used without direct permission from the author.
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