The Queen of Incantations: The Great Peahen

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The Queen of Incantations: The Great Peahen (Skt. Mahāmāyūrīvidyārājñī; Tib. རིག་སྔགས་ཀྱི་རྒྱལ་མོ་རྨ་བྱ་ཆེན་མོ།, Wyl. rig sngags kyi rgyal mo rma bya chen mo) is one of five texts that together constitute the Pañcarakṣā scriptural collection and has been among the most popular texts used for pragmatic purposes throughout the Mahayana Buddhist world. Although its incantations are framed specifically to counteract the deadly effects of poisonous snakebites, it also aims to address the entire range of possible human ailments and diseases contracted through the interference of animals, non-human beings, and humoral and environmental imbalances, along with a range of other misfortunes, such as sorcery, losing one’s way, robbery, natural disaster, and criminal punishment, to name but a few. In the text the Buddha Shakyamuni advocates for the invocation of a number of deities within the pantheon of Indian [[gods|gods and goddesses, including numerous local deities who dwell throughout the subcontinent. He stipulates that just “upholding” or intoning these names along with the mantra formula that accompanies each grouping will hasten the deities to the service of sangha members administering to the pragmatic medical needs of their own and surrounding communities.[1]


The Tibetan translation of this sutra can be found in the Tantra section of the Tibetan Dergé Kangyur, Toh 559


  1. 84000 Translating the Words of the Buddha.

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