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Sherab Chamma


Sherab Chamma is the emanation of Perfect Wisdom.

Sherab Chamma is considered to be the Mother of all Buddhas.

 Her sacred syllables Mantra is called the Heart Mantra....

In Bon sources there are five kinds Perfection of Wisdom literature, are organized into five sections. These were recovered by the terton Shenchen Luga (996 – 1035) at Dritsam Thakar in Tsang Province. The tantra of Chamma, (Byams ma'i rgyud), was rediscovered by Trotsan Druglha (956 – 1077).

In the Bon pantheon, Chamma is considered one of the "four principal sugatas," also known as the four peaceful deities, who stimulate and superintend the spiritual evolution of the human race. They are:

- Sherab Chamma, the "Perfection of Wisdom"
- Shenlha Odkar, the Sambhogakaya Buddha or "Wisdom Deity"
- Sangpo Bumtri, the "Creator Deity", and
- (Tenpa) Shenrab Miwo, the Nirmanakaya Buddha, the "Universal Teacher".

In the Zhangzhung language, Sherab Chamma is known as Satrig Ersang, sa trig meaning "Wisdom." In the Tazig language of ancient Central Asia she is Ardvishura Anahita. In the Srid pa mdzod phug, the Bonpo Abhidharma text dealing with cosmogony, theogony, and cosmology, with an appended commentary by Dranpa Namkha of Zhangzhung.

She is called "queen of the waters" because of her origin: As the winds of karma blew across the vast primeval ocean, moving its waters, a bubble the size of a pavilion rose up to the surface, and at its center an egg of blue light became visible. When this egg burst open, a turquoise-blue woman appeared from it. The Creator Deity Sangpo Bumtri was overwhelmed by her beauty and radiance. He called her "queen of the waters" and coupled with her.

The cult of the goddess extended all the way from the borders of China to the ancient Near East and the Mediterranean coast, where in Greco-Roman times she was variously identified with Ishtat, Isis, Aphrodite, and Urania.

The cult of the mother tantras is believed by the Bonpos to have been transmitted to humans by Zangsa Ringtsun, a manifestation of Satrig Ersang. Bon literature on Chamma is extensive. Volume three of the bKa' 'gyur rgyud sde'i skor is dedicated to ritual sadhana materials on her, where her basic mandala is described. She can assume a fivefold form and also, like the Buddhist Tara, an eightfold form, each form banishing fear of a particular danger.

The Great Chamma, the mother creates enlightened ones of the three times (past, present and future) and who is from the mandala of the highest conqueror - Tonpa Shenrab, Bon's founder. She dances on a moon disc atop a sun mandala, which itself lies atop a blue lotus and a throne supported by lions. Her body glows reddish yellow and is decorated by clusters of jewels.

On her head she wears a crown made of skulls and precious stones. Her hair is tied up in a knot and held in place by a golden net. Her garments consist of multicolored skirts and green scarves. In her left hand she holds a magic mirror supported by a lotus. In her right hand she holds a golden vase.

In the four corners there are the four companions of her mandala:

(1) In the East, from the heavenly field Ngöntog Zhing appears the Great Mother Tabchen Derdrolma;

(2) in the North, from the heaven Namdag Zhingkham is the Great Mother Namkha Dzödzinma ;

(3) in the West, from the field Köpai Zhingkham comes the Great Mother Tugje Chamma who is red in color (above right);

(4) in the South appears the Great Mother Natsog Kundragma from the paradise called Gegye Zhingkham.

All four goddesses have two heads and eight arms. So we have the principle deity of the mother tantras "the Supreme Secret of Mother Tantra, the Ultimate," also called "the Supreme Secret King." As a meditation divinity he appears with sixteen arms and seven heads. His body is dark blue. In each of his sixteen hands he holds a skull cup filled with blood and fresh hearts. He also sports two outspread wings. He is embraced by his consort Kyema Marmo, whose body is red.