In Tibetan, the Sanskrit name Parnashavari meaning "leaf-clad goddess," is pronounced like Loma Gyunma.
<Sundari woman, Nepal © Crown copyright 2009. Read
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Like other forms of Tara, Parnashavari Devi is viewed as the Wisdom of Amoghasiddhi, and a manifestation of the Compassion of all Buddhas. She is invoked to protect us from contagious diseases.
She is variously depicted as a glorious golden six-armed figure, or a wrathful dark blue hag with two arms standing in lunging posture (Skt. alidha), or lovely and riding a peacock, or as a very chubby crouching six-armed figure, or perhaps the most ancient form -- a kneeling green figure dressed in layers of verdant leaves who is brandishing a similarly layered fan. Karma Kagyu practice is of a 2-armed green form (see bronze statue, farther down this page.)
There is also a Nyingma terma lineage form where she is riding a boar (male pig / swine.)
Meditation on Parnashavari and the recitation of her mantra (see below) are believed to strengthen one's resistance to contagious diseases. One invocation declares that she "prevents all epidemics that torture . . . beings."
In the 18th-century narrow Tibetan painting linked above, likely intended as a wall panel, she appears in her skirt of layers of leaves with a garland about her neck in a lush landscape filled with offerings of wish-fulfilling jewels and other auspicious objects. In the foreground, birds swim in a stream amidst floating treasures. In her six hands, she holds attributes that include a stalk of fresh leaves representing the healing power of medicinal plants. (Jeff Watt)
According to Thomas E. Donaldson (Iconography of the Buddhist Sculpture of Orissa), the Dharmakosha-Samgraha describes the 6-armed form of Leaf-clad Tara as having 3 faces -- yellow, red, and green. In her 3 right hands, she holds a double-dorje, a club and an arrow; in her 3 lefts, a lasso, lotus and bow. The same document however, also describes her carrying a noose and wielding an axe (Skt: parashu.)
< Some attributes, either broken or stolen, are absent from this old bronze image.
In the Sadhana-mala, #149 describes her as green, with Amoghasiddhi at the crown, having a blue right face and a white left one. Her expression portrays an "angry laugh."
Sadhana #150 describes Parnashavari Tara with 2 arms.
Parnashavari is also described as an ogress (Skt. pisachi ) with a protruding belly, who is youthful, clad in a tiger-skin and garment of leaves, and trampling diseases and pestilence. The Ekalavira-Chanda-Maharosana Tantra suggests that, as an ogress -- a flesh-eater -- offerings of foods such as roasted fish are suitable.
Some of Parnashawari's other epithets are: Sarvamariri-prashamani -- healer of all epidemic diseases, and Sarvashavaranam Bhagavati = Lady / Goddess, Healer of the Shavari.
Ritroma's epithet means "Mountain Mendicant [wandering yogini]" and she is the 20th of the 21 Taras.
According to a Sakya transmission (Jetsun Chimey Luding in Paris, 2008), in the form called Ritroma, she is a semi-wrathful white Tara having one face, two arms. (Meat is not permissible before this practice.)
OM, PISHACHI PARNASHAWARI SARVAJORA PRASHAMANAYEH, SWAHA !
Ringu Tulku (April 30, 2009.)
Lama Tenzin, KSDL, Toronto, ON, Canada (June 2009.)