Female Deities

Thousand Armed Guan-yin at Lashan, China
Photo Credit: Mike Byu
via Flickr.

There are many types of female deities in Buddhism.  The term “deity” does not refer to a worldly god, but to a Buddha or bodhisattva. Sometimes it also refers to historical figures, dakinis, yidams, and Dharma protectors in peaceful, semi-wrathful or wrathful form.  Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns. We'd love to hear from you.

Female Deities

  • Achi Chkyi Drolma - Dharmapala
  • Dorje Yudronma - Dharmapala
  • Ekajati (Ralchigma) - Dharmapala
  • Ekajati - Yidam
  • Kurukulla - Yidam
  • Lamanteri - Dharmapala & Yidam
  • Machig Labdron - Yidam & historical figure
  • Mahamaya - Yidam
  • Mandarava - Yidam & historical figure
  • Marici - Yidam
  • Mayadevi - historical figure
  • Nairatmya - Yidam
  • Niguma - Guru and Yidam
  • Palden Lhamo (Sri Devi) - Dharmapala
  • Prajnaparamita (Yum Chenmo) - Guru & Yidam
  • Samantabhadri (Kuntuzangmo) - Guru & Yidam
  • Sarasvati - Yidam
  • Simhamukha (Sengdongma)- Yidam
  • Sukkhasiddhi - Guru & Yidam
  • Tara, Green (Drolma) - Yidam
  • Tara, Red - Yidam
  • Tara, White (Drolkar) - Yidam
  • Troma Nagmo - Dharmapala
  • Tseringma - Dharmapala
  • Ushnisha-sitatapatra - Yidam
  • Ushnisha-vijaya - Yidam
  • Vajrayogini / Vajravarahi (Dorje Naljorma/ Dorje Phagmo) - Dharmapala & Yidam
  • Yeshe Tsogyal (Dechen Gyalm) - Yidam, Guru & historical figure

Types of Deities

  • a Yidam - an enlightened meditational deity who embodies the union of wisdom and compassion, yet is not separate from the meditator.

  • a Guru - usually the founder of a lineage; a fully realised being whom one identifies wholly with one's spiritual guide.

  • a Dharmapala - usually portrayed as an enlightened being in wrathful form, a Dharma Protector's primary function is to eliminate the spiritual obstacles hindering the practitioner.

  • a Historical Figure - someone who lived as a female human being on this earth and can be placed historically according to tradition.

  • Guan Yin Bodhisattva
    Guan-yin Bodhisattva
    Photo Credit: Jason Chamberlain
    via Flickr.

    What is a Thangka?

    A thangka (pronounced TONG-ka) is a Tibetan painting on cloth, stored scroll-fashion when travelling. For those who wish to learn more about thangkas visit the Dharmapala Centre in Bremen, Germany English-language site.

    thangka of Green Tara from Shankar Gallery
    Green Tara Thangka from Shankar Gallery

    Language Resources

    Déités féminines (French)
    Weibliche Gottheiten (German)


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