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Sed Gyued Monastery

Prajna Paramita

Prajna Paramita

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Prajna Paramita

The White Umbrella Goddess and Singhmukha Dakini


The Goddess of the White Umbrella (the Buddhist deity Ushnisha-sitatapatra) is one of many powerful female deities. She manifests her power with her thousand heads, arms, and legs. She has eyes on the palms of each of her hands and soles of her feet, and each head has three eyes. Standing triumphantly within an aureole blazing with the fire of wisdom, the goddess tramples the enemies of spiritual attainment (such as anger, greed and delusion) with her numerous feet. In Ushnisha-Sitatapatra’s primary hands are the white umbrella of protection and the wheel of the Dharma (the Buddha’s teaching). Her other hands brandish various weapons and form a halo around her. In front of the goddess are three Mahakalas (enlightened beings who protect those on the path to Buddhahood). Above her is a small image of Buddha Shakyamuni in his form as the Lord of Nagas (serpent divinities).


Also known as Kurim Namsum, this prayer is liturgies of three short texts performed in all Gelugpa monasteries, especially in the debate courtyard as preliminary prayers before the debates and also during congregational ceremonies of Drepung Gomang monastery. And said to be very effective because of its contents, it removes obstacles, hindrances to life, property and health also in averting harms coming from humans or non-humans. A common practice among Tibetans is having these liturgies printed on "prayer flags" or scrolls. While these are hung amongst the high passes, mountain tops, roof of the house or any high place, the later is made into amulets for protection either hung over doors or even worn around the neck.

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