Eight charnel ground ornaments

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Eight charnel ground ornaments (Tib. དུར་ཁྲོད་ཆས་བརྒྱད།, Wyl. dur khrod chas brgyad ) of a wrathful deity are:

  1. The three garments (Tib.བགོ་བའི་གོས་གསུམ།, Wyl. bgo ba’i gos gsum): elephant, human, and tiger skin;
  2. Two fastened ornaments (Tib.གདགས་པའི་རྒྱན་གཉིས།, Wyl. gdags pa’i rgyan gnyis): human skulls and snakes; and
  3. Three smeared things (Tib.བྱུག་པའི་རྫས་གསུམ།, Wyl. byug pa’i rdzas gsum): ashes, blood, and grease. [1]

These also form part of the ten glorious ornaments.

  • The three garments:
An elephant skin is a sign that ignorance has been subdued by the ten strengths;
A human skin is a sign that desire has been subdued by desireless great compassion; and
A tiger skin is a sign that anger or hatred has been subdued by wrathful compassion[2]
  • The two kinds of fastened ornaments:
Dried and fresh human skull ornaments, which are
The crown of five dry human skulls,
The garland of fifty fresh heads,
The bracelets of fragments of human heads. [3]
Snake ornaments:
The white-spotted snake hair ribbon, which symbolizes the subjugation of the caste of naga kings;
The yellow-spotted snake earrings, which symbolize the subjugation of the caste of naga nobility;
The red-spotted snake necklace which symbolizes the subjugation of the Brahmin caste of nagas;
The green-spotted snake bracelets which symbolize the subjugation of the ordinary caste of nagas; and
The black-spotted snake belt or sash which symbolizes the subjugation of the lowest caste of nagas. [4]
  • The three smeared things which symbolize the subjugation of jealousy, are:
Ashes on the forehead,
Blood on the bridge of the nose, or the cheeks, and
Mouldy grease on the chin. [5]

References

  1. * Thinley Norbu, The Small Golden Key.
  2. * Ibid..
  3. * Ibid.
  4. * Ibid.
  5. * Ibid.