Notes on the Werma Deities


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(Jamgon Mipham Namgyal Gyatso).(1846-1912)..The Tibetan text: "The Lamp that Illuminates the Practice of the Miraculous Juthig of Existence" : interesting and clear descriptions of the DRALA and WERMA can be found in two passages from the monumental work on the Juthig divination. The first passage describes the 'Unicorn' Drala Seu Ruchig, one of the most important manifestations among Drala and Werma.Also information on Lha, Nyen, and Lu."

WERMA......."From the inner essence of the egg a miraculous man was born with a lion's head and lynx's ears, a fierce face with an elephant's trunk, the mouth of a chusin, and tiger's fangs. His feet were swords and his wings sabres, and between the flaming horns (rwa dbal) on the great Khyung's head he had the diadem of the wish-fulfilling jewell as an ornament. He was called 'heroic' WERMA NYINYA and was the fount of four distince ritual traditions.

In fact from the union of the Werma with the Lha were born the 'Werma of the Lha that Subjugate the Dud'.......from the union with the Nyen, the 'Werma of the Nyen that Subjugate Enemies'......from the union with the Khyung, the 'Werma of the Khyung that Subjugate the Lu'....from the unioon with the divine Lions (seng) the 'Three Werma Brothers that Subjugate Heroes'.....From these four divine manifestations, which in turn emanated armed hordes of nine hundred and ninety thousand various Werma, originated the four systems of ritual practice devoted to the class of the Werma that, as is written in the Zijid, "all arose from the Lha, descended from the Se and are similar to the Wal.....and appeared in order to subjugate all hostile entities causing obstacles and disturbances."

WERMA THANGKA.......There is a thangka of the Warrior God .....Werma Nyi-nya..... in the Musec Guimet in Paris.....however this depiction does not have the elephant trunk.......horns of a garuda, lion's head, lynx ears, fearful face, crocodile mouth, tiger's teeth, feet and wings in the form of swords.....

"The werma deities are extremely important because they are the special protectors who always accompany and protect the masters and practitioners. From an ancient ritual text called...The General Do of Existence....

To the masters the Werma are important.

The Werma whirl like snow-storms,

those they escort are the practitioners,

those they assist are the practitioners,

those they protect are the practitioners.

We proffer the well-prepared offerings

and confess errors if we have mingled with evil!"

(Drung, Deu and Bon....1995..... page 55)

"The Tibetans have very complicated linkages and overlappings among the protector gods of the person, the protectors gods of lineages (male, female, maternal uncle) and the different masters of the place or territory." (Blondeau: 1996..pg ix)...

"It is difficult to relate to enlightened energies if they have no form or ground for personal communications. One should remember that the mind that perceives the deity and the deity itself are not separate."....(Sogyal: 1992...pg 285)...

WERMA...Published references to the Tibetan term Werma.....

"Werma: martial spirits...infuse the warrior with dignity and confidence." (Nalanda:Lopez:1997)

"the 360 Werma, a Zhang-zhung term" (Hoffman:1975).

"There are four different classes of divine manifestations: Drala, Werma, Changseng, and Shungon." (Norbu:1995)

"Werma defined as 'furious ones'. (Ekvall:pg 78)

"The 360 Werma deities who dwell on Mt Kailash in western Tibet." (Powers:1995)

"The origin of the powerful Werma. A clear description of drala and werma." (Norbu 1995: pps 54-56)....

"God Werma...Fury Werma...Khyung Werma...Werma Hero Subduers"...(Snellgrove:1967...pg 63)

...."the werma is an important class of Bon deities. The werma are the angry, ferocious and fearless ones, the dgra lha of the arrows and lances. Two main groups of werma, one of 180 and the other of 360 members." (Nebesky:1956..pg 334)

...."Nyi Nya is the lord of the Werma" (Norbu: 1995..pg 245).

...the Shang Shung term for king is WER RO (Tibetan: rgyal po) (Kvaerne: 1996)

....senkhar (gsas mkhar): a small temple to attract the werma deities..."the Werma, almighty and fearless, are the 'road gods' (lam lha) of many warriors." (Nebesky: 1956..pg 334)...

ZHIDAG....."Tibetan Buddhists believe that there are countless types of beings other than humans and animals. Some are more powerful, happier, and more intelligent than humans, and others less so. Usually if there is no common karma or karmic connection, beings of different types will not encounter each other. Spirits are not necessarily births of the ancestors from a particular locality, but may have come from any kind of birth or realm." (Hidden Teachings of Tibet)

FRAVASHIS......"A class of higher intelligence that are ancient Persian guardian warrior spirits. The 19th day of every month is consecrated to them. King Phraortes' (647 BC) Persian name is derived from the term."(Dhalla:1963..pg 235)..... "Hence Finite Time and Finite Space control man's destiny from the cradle to the grave. Yet the whole of the macrocosm is kept in being by the Fravashis (Dralas ??), the spiritual powers that are indissolubly linked with each human being and with humanity as a whole. Finite time-space, then, is not a kenoma, an empty nothingness, but a pleroma, a 'full' and vital organism...."...(Zaehner..1961..pg 150)...

"We are working with iconography as a journey, rather than as entertainment or excitement or cultural fascination. We are talking about personal experience, how we actually see this world. There is a basic iconographic pattern in the universe, like the existence of the seasons and the elements, but how we react to that is individual.""....(Trungpa: Dharma Art.:1996...pg 94)



April 2015

John Hopkins....Northern New Mexico


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