Protector Thangka – Ma-za-dor-sum

Protector Thangka

The Ma-za-dor-sum – the three protectors of the Nyingma tradition

Ma (Mamo Ekajati) is the central figure; Za ( Za Ra hu la) is ‘stage right’; and Dor ( Dam chan rDo rJe Legs pa) is ‘stage left’. The three great protectors are depicted in a wild and rugged setting, surrounded by wisdom fire. The meaning of ‘protection’ deals with one’s practice and one’s vows – rather than with one’s ‘safety’. One practises the protectors to preserve one’s vows rather than one’s life or situation. One can only invoke the protectors with regard to achieving auspicious circumstances for practice; and it may be that worse physical circumstances are actually better for practice. These practices are therefore regarded with the utmost caution.