The Five Buddha Families of the Yungdrung Bon

Salwa Rangjung and consort

Within the Yungdrung Bön tradition, there are the Five Buddha Families.  Each deity is associated with specific colors, hand objects, wisdoms, elements. organs, impure aspects that are purified, etc.  Here are listed a few of these characteristics along with a line of scripture from the prayer known to Western students as The Precious Garland, an aspirational prayer to support those who have recently died.

Salwa Rangjung is associated with the Eastern direction. This deity is yellow in color, associated with the pure dimension of the element of earth and the consort is the khandro of the earth element.  This deity is associated with Mirror-like Wisdom and the Yungdrung Family.

“When the energy of the earth element dissolves into the water…and the yellow light of one’s own self appears, may I recognize it as the enlightened dimension of Salwa Rangjung.”

Gawa Dondrup and consort

Gawa Döndrup is associated with the Southern direction. This deity is blue in color, associated with the pure dimension of the element of water and the consort is the khandro of the water element.  This deity is associated with All-accomplishing Wisdom and the Precious Jewel Family.

“When the energy of the water element dissolves into the fire…and the pure essence of the water arises as a blue light, may I recognize it as the enlightened dimension of Gawa Döndrup.”

Jetak Ngome and consort

Jetak Ngomé is associated with the Western direction. This deity is red in color, associated with the pure dimension of the element of fire and the consort is the khandro of the fire element.  This deity is associated with Discriminating Wisdom and the Lotus Family.

“When the energy of the fire element dissolves into the wind…and the red light of one’s own self appears, may I recognize it as the enlightened dimension of Jetak Ngomé.”

Gelha Garchuk and consort

Gelha Garchuk is associated with the Northern direction. This deity is green in color, associated with the pure dimension of the element of wind and the consort is the khandro of the wind element.  This deity is associated with the Wisdom of Equanimity and the Dharma Wheel Family.

“When the energy of the wind element dissolves into the consciousness…and the green light of one’s own self appears, may I recognize it as the enlightened dimension of Gelha Garchuk.”

Kunnang Khyappa and consort

Kunnang Khyappa is the central deity of the Five Buddha Families. This deity is white in color, associated with the pure dimension of the element of space, and the consort is the khandro of space. This deity is associated with the Wisdom of Emptiness and the Suchness Family.

“When consciousness dissolves into the base-of-all…and the intermediate state of clear light arises, may I recognize it as the enlightened dimension of Kunnang Khyappa.  Having recognized these experiences as illusory, may I awaken into the self-aware absolute reality!”

Translated from the Tibetan by Raven Cypress Wood

Posted on June 13, 2015, in Five Elements, Iconography, Sacred Scriptures, Translation. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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