Eight female bodhisattvas

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The eight female bodhisattvas (Tib. བྱང་ཆུབ་སེམས་མ་བརྒྱད་, changchub semma gyé, Wyl. byang chub sems ma brgyad) are also referred to as the eight offering goddesses. They are the consorts of the eight great bodhisattvas:

  1. Goddess of Beauty (Skt. Lāsyā; Tib. Gekpama; Wyl. sgeg pa ma) the consort of Kshitigarbha
  2. Goddess of Garlands (Skt. Mālyā; Tib. Trengwama; Wyl. phreng ba ma) the consort of Akashagarbha
  3. Goddess of Song (Skt. Gītā; Tib. Luma; Wyl. glu ma) the consort of Vajrapani
  4. Goddess of Dance (Skt. Nirtī; Tib. Garma; Wyl. gar ma) the consort of Avalokiteshvara
  5. Goddess of Flowers (Skt. Pūṣpā; Tib. Metokma Wyl. me tog ma) the consort of Sarvanivaranavishkambhin
  6. Goddess of Incense (Skt. Dhupā; Tib. Dukpöma; Wyl. bdug spos ma) the consort of Maitreya
  7. Goddess of Light (Skt. Alokā; Tib. Marmema or Nangselma; Wyl. mar me ma) the consort of Samantabhadra
  8. Goddess of Perfume (Skt. Gandhā; Tib. Drichabma; Wyl. dri chab ma) the consort of Mañjushri

Symbolically they represent the pure state of sense objects.

On the bell they are symbolised by the seed syllables on the top shoulder of the bell. The syllables are placed on an eight petalled lotus, that represents the eight male bodhisattvas.

An alternative list gives them as:

  1. Sarasvati
  2. Chunda
  3. White Tara
  4. Khadiravani Tara
  5. Sitatapatra
  6. Marichi
  7. Ushnishavijaya
  8. Parnashabari

Further Reading

  • Robert Beer, The Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs, p. 244