Question about "Death Deities"


My wife, a Nyingma school Buddhist, has talked to me about what she calls our “Kela” in Sherpa, which I suspect is something else in Tibetan (that I can’t pronounce). Roughly, it concerns our “Death Deities” of which there are nine. My diety is Manjushri. Below is the page in Nepali and Tibetan that describe who they cover. Can you elaborate a bit on how we work with them in meeting our appointment with the dream at the end of time?


Manjushri! Deity of wisdom!.. didn’t know he could be a deity of death… isn’t it yamantaka?
BTW, to have Manjushri as the death deity is cool! Can I know mine?

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Most people don’t seem to know about this. Depends upon the year you were born and the Tibetan calendar sign you have.

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Other sources I’ve asked, except my wife, don’t know. Andrew is my last hope for elaboration. Hoping he will comment here or Thursday, if he hangs out…

Year 1986 Tibetan calendar sign Tiger
Can I make a formal request to your wife to look up for my death deity?:grinning:#Curious

BTW, Nepali script sems a bit similar to Hindi script…could actually read and understand a few bits in the pic! Wow for me! :grinning:

Devanagari, same script. Similar to Roman letters for English, French, Spanish . . . Looks like the Deity is #8, Buddha Sakyamunī, so he would be the one you would work with in particular, during your lifetime, in preparation for the Bardo, the way I understand it. You should be able to read his name in the chart.

Thank you. One last question though…what does सेतो mean? Is it seven or white?

I tried Google search but didn’t get any relevant answers. So bear with me as I ask you this - in the chart above, there are two Shakyamuni Buddhas, figure 5 reads/translates as first (please correct me if am wrong) while the figure 8 reads/translates as white… what’s the difference? Also, there are different colors mentioned - green, white, blue, black, and guess रातो translates as night?

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I don’t want to give incomplete or wrong info. Wife says the first is Buddha Sakyamuni while the second is “White.” रातो translates as night, yes. सेतो means seven. Not sure of the differences but they are different here. My Deity is Manjushri so that’s who I try to work with with chanting and dedications. Andrew also uses Manjushri, that’s why I’d like to learn more about working with these deities. I’ve heard BobThurman say to work with any Deity with whom you’re close.

It ended up being more confusing. So, now figure 8 means seventh “white” S.Buddha?! I know of only one. There are 5 Thatagatas in Tantrayana, but seventh? Does it have anything to do with Amitabha Buddha? I am just guessing, equating light with white.

It’s okay though… understand your dilemma too. Just being curious, and musing out loud. Thanks for answering all my questions so far.

Hoping Andrew will clarify.

So I asked Andrew about this and he didn’t know about it specifically, but offered that it is advantageous to change into a Deity in the Bardo. Wife says there are 9 colors and each is associated with a Deity and once one knows it, the practice can follow leading up to passing on and beyond.


Thank you. Appreciate your patience and response :slightly_smiling_face:

P.S. thanks to your wife and Andrew too!

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