gZi stone


the five elemental gZis

The gZi stone (sometimes spelt dZi) is a precious stone valued within the Vajrayana cultures of the East. The most precious gZis have ‘chu mig’ or water eyes, and become exponentially more valuable according to the number of eyes. Khyungchen Aro Lingma possessed a nine-eyed gZi which she wore around her neck on a gold chain (another account describes her as wearing it on a simple leather thong). This nine-eyed gZi was given to her by her disciple, A-Kyong Düd’dül Dorje, and consequent to this gift the tradition of wearing gZis proliferated within the Aro Gar.

Ngak’chang Rinpoche comments:
The general custom within Vajrayana cultures was to wear gZis offset with a coral bead on either side – but the Aro gTér tradition was to wear the gZi bead on its own as a symbol of the function of the protectors – particularly Za Rahula. Za Rahula is known as the ‘Lord of Lightning’, and his body is covered with eyes – which gives the connection to the ‘eyes’ of the gZi stone.

In the Aro gTér tradition the gZi is worn on a golden chain as a symbol of the yogi or yogini wearing the crystal ornaments of the peaceful yidams and human bone ornaments of the wrathful yidams.

Ngak’chang Rinpoche comments:
Thus worn, the gZi on its chain is described as ‘Rahula’s Noose of Poison Lightning’. Those who wear this noose, invite Za Rahula to throttle them in the most conclusive manner if they ever break their vows and consciously fail to repair them.

The custom of wearing a stone at the neck dates back to Jomo Chhi’mèd Pema who had a wealth of specialised knowledge concerning the nature of stone. Originally the gZi was not particularly the stone of preference – because the eyes could be engraved on other forms of stone in order to represent Za Rahula and Mamo-Za (Mamo-Za is a female protector who is similar to Za Rahula, but is a one-headed and two-armed form).

Jomo Chhi’mèd Pema passed this knowledge to Jomo Pema ’ö-Zér, who in turn passed it to her daughter Khyungchen Aro Lingma. This tradition then passed to A-yé Khandro and A-shé Khandro because Khyungchen Aro Lingma had no daughter to receive it.