Thursday, May 28, 2020

The origin of Sengdongma and its prayers

During the time of Buddha Amitabha which was aeons before Buddha Shakyamuni, there lived a demon by the name of Garab Wangchuk whose daughter was a lion-faced demoness named Tramen_Sengdongma. 

She thrived on killing many innocent beings and her trail of destruction became widespread. She threatened sincere practitioners and undermined Buddha Amitabha’s teachings.

It was then that the enlightened beings gathered to manifest an identical-looking being in order to tame the demoness. Through the collective blessings of all the enlightened beings, a wisdom being appeared in the form of a lion-faced dakini, who was empowered by all the Buddhas to subjugate the demoness. 

The dakini, Sengdongma, was far more powerful than the demoness and when they fought, the demoness began to lose her strength.  

Furthermore, Sengdongma entered a deep state of concentration called Taming the Maras and thus emanated countless dakinis who continued her work of subduing demons. In this manner Tramen Sengdongma was subdued and took an oath to serve the Dharma and became a protector. 


Simhamukha is iconographically represented as a wrathful deity who is usually depicted as a dark blue, or maroon colored lion-faced female and is associated with the direction East.

In a dancing posture with the left leg extended and the right drawn up, she stands atop a red corpse seat, sun disc and a pink lotus surrounded by a circle of flame and smoke. 

Her face is that of a white lion, with three round yellow eyes, blazing fiercely with a gaping mouth, a yellow beard, eyebrows, and hair flowing upward. 

The right-hand holds aloft a curved flaying knife with a gold vajra handle. The left clutches to the heart a white skullcup filled with blood. 

Adorned with a tiara of five skulls, red scarf, elephant skin, bone ornaments, a long snake and fifty freshly severed heads as a necklace, she wears a tiger skin skirt.

༄༅། །སེང་གདོང་མའི་ཐལ་རྡེབ་རྒྱུན་ཁྱེར་ནི།

A Daily 'Hand-Clapping' Practice of Siṃhamukhā

by Kyabjé Dudjom Rinpoche


kechik rangnyi khandroma

In an instant I appear as the ḍākinī


sengé dongchen kur salwé

With the face of a lion, visualized clearly;


tukké ngak kyi trodu yi

The mantra in my heart emanating and reabsorbing rays of light


nöjé malü tsarché gyur

In order to eliminate entirely all causes of harm!


a ka sa ma ra tsa sha da ra sa ma ra ya pé

a ka sa ma ra ca śa da ra sa māraya phaṭ


Recite the mantra as many times as possible.

ན་མོ། རྩ་བརྒྱུད་བླ་མ་ཡི་དམ་ལྷ། 

namo, tsa gyü lama yidam lha

Namo! Root and lineage gurus, yidam deities,


khandro düdul drakmo yi

And the ḍākinī, the wrathful mother subduing the māras:


denpa chenpö jinlab kyi

Through the blessings of your great truth,


jekha purkha bötong sok

Turn back all curses, spells and evil sorcery,


mitün chak ché nyam nga kün

All forms of adversity, tragedy and threats of danger!


dangwar jepé dra la jo

Turn them back upon the hostile enemies: bhyo!1


nöpar jepé gek la jo

Turn them back upon the obstacle-makers who harm us: bhyo!


dü dra jemé tengdu jo

Turn them back upon negative influences, enemies and sorcerers: bhyo!


jeshul mepar dok gyur chik

May they be averted completely, without leaving any trace behind!


Clap your hands together as you recite this. Then:


tromö rik ngak nüpé tü

By the power of the wrathful mother’s vidyā mantra,


changchub drubpé barché dü

May the māras that obstruct the attainment of enlightenment


nöjé malü tsarché né

And all causes of harm be annihilated,


samdön yishyin drubpar dzö

And may all our wishes be fulfilled, just as we desire!


Dedicate and make aspiration prayers.



Written by Jikdral Yeshé Dorjé as a daily recitation. Jayantu!


Courtesy: Rigpa Translations, 2014

1.      Tibetans pronounce this 'jo”


༄༅། །སེང་གདོང་བརྒྱུད་འདེབས་བཞུགས།

Siṃhamukhā Lineage Prayer

by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö



sishyi khyabdak kunzang heruka

Omnipresent lord of existence and quiescence, Samantabhadra Heruka,


yeshe daki seng dong bimala

The wisdom ḍākinī Siṃhamukhā and Vimalamitra,


pema jungné ngadak trisong jé

Padmākara and the sovereign lord Trisong Detsen—


solwa deb so jé dön yul jom shok

To you I pray: overcome all curses and harmful influences!


bé ro namnying langdro könchok jung

Vairotsana, Namkhé Nyingpo, Langdro Könchok Jungné,


khyentsé wangpo yeshe dorjé dang

Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, Pema Yeshe Dorje,1


chödak rigdzin tsa gyü lama la

And all dharma-keeping vidyādharas, root and lineage gurus—


solwa deb so jé dön yul jom shok

To you I pray: overcome all curses and harmful influences!


parol dra dön sungwé gurkhang ten

Let the tent that guards against enemies and harmful influences be secure.


dokpé tsönché jema talwar lok

Employ the defensive weapons and obliterate all forms of evil sorcery.


namshé ying drol rangrig yeshe kyi

Liberate consciousness into basic space and bring about awakening


dhaki ngowor ngönpar changchub shok

Within the essence of the ḍākinī, the wisdom of our very own awareness.


ཅེས་པའང་འཁྲུལ་ཞིག་རིན་པོ་ཆེའི་གསུང་ངོར་པདྨ་ཡེ་ཤེས་རྡོ་རྗེས་གང་དྲན་བྲིས་པའོ།། །།

Pema Yeshe Dorje wrote whatever came to mind in response to a request from Trulshik Rinpoche.2


| Translated by Adam Pearcey, 2020.

1.        Pema Yeshe Dorje is one of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö’s alternative names.

2.        i.e., Trulshik Kunzang Pawo Dorje (1897–1962), who lived in Gangtok and requested several other texts related to Siṃhamukhā from Jamyang Khyentse.


༄༅། །སེང་གདོང་མའི་ཟློག་དམིགས་ནི།

Averting Negativity With Siṃhamukhā, The Lion-Faced Lady



pelden dorjé lhamo ni

Glorious vajra goddess,



drakmo sengé dongpachen

fierce one with a lion’s face



yeshé mé yi özer tro

radiating with wisdom firelight—



sengé dongchen lhamor dü

Lion-Faced Goddess, I bow to you!



a ka sa ma ra tsa sha da ra sa mah rah yah pé

a ka sa ma ra ca śa da ra sa ma ra ya phaṭ



Recite the mantra a little and then say:

མཁའ་འགྲོ་མ་སེང་གེའི་གདོང་པ་ཅན་ཁྱོད་ཀྱི་རིག་སྔགས་བཟླས་པའི་མཐུ་དང་ནུས་པ་ལ་བརྟེན་ནས་རྣལ་འབྱོར་པ་བདག་ཅག་དཔོན་སློབ་འཁོར་དང་བཅས་པ་རྣམ་ལ་སྡང་བར་བྱེད་པའི་དགྲ། གནོད་པར་བྱེད་པའི་བགེགས། ར་དུ་གཅོད་པའི་རྐྱེན། མདོར་ན་བཀྲ་མི་ཤིས་པའི་ཕྱོགས་རིས་ངན་པ་ཐམས་ཅད་ཕྱིར་བཟློག་པར་གྱུར་ཅིག 

khandroma sengé dongpachen, khyö kyi rik ngak depé tu dang nüpa la tené neljorpa dakchak pönlop khor dang chepa nam la dangwar jepé dra, nöpar jepé gek, bardu chöpé kyen, dorna tra mishipé chokri ngenpa tamché chir dokpar gyur chik

O Lion-Faced Ḍākinī, through the power and force of reciting your vidyā-mantra, for us practitioners, teachers, students and our circles, may all enemies who spite us, obstructers who would harm us, and conditions that hinder us—in short, everything inauspicious and negative—be averted!



tromo barwé tsok nam kyi

Host of ladies ablaze with wrath,



dragek jema tamché kyi

reduce to dust the body and speech



lü ngak telwé dül du lok

of all enemies, obstructers, and curses,



namshé chö kyi ying su dröl

and free their minds into dharmadhātu!



khyö kyi rik ngak depé tü

Through the power of reciting your vidyā-mantra,



nöjé malü zhiwa dang

ensure that all harm-doers are pacified,



chi sam yizhin drupa dang

that everything goes according to our wishes,



shedrup tenpa gyepar dzö

and that the study and practice of the teachings thrive!


དགེ་ལེགས་འཕེལ།། །།

May virtue and excellence increase!

Courtesy: Lhasey Lotsawa Translations (translated by Laura Dainty, checked against the Tibetan and edited by Oriane Sherap Lhamo)


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