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March 26, 2021

The Snow Lion

4 min read

Often, it is a popularly referred to as the chenrezig (Tib. Chen. One can also refers to Wyl. as a celestial animal known as Wyl. as Wyl. “Tib. Boddhisi”). It is Tibet's symbol and reflects the country's snow-capped mountain peaks as well as glaciers. It may also reflect the east and the earth aspect, as well as strength and vigor, fearlessness, and joy. The snow lion is portrayed as one of Ykais' components in the 1592 novel "Journey to the West."

1) The Tibetan national flag
The snow lion acted as Tibet's national symbol from 1909 to 1959, whether alone or in pairs. It was portrayed on Tibetan coins, postage stamps, banknotes, and the national flag.

The 13th Dalai Lama unveiled the version of the two snow lions below in 1912, centered on old military banners. The Tibetan government in exile still uses this edition. As a consequence, the flag is recognized as the snow lion flag.

Tibet's flag

2) Tibetan culture entails
Tibetan folk songs and proverbs sometimes reference this mythical creature. The Tibetan society claims that it can dwell in the highest mountains since it is the "king of beasts" who will reign above all other species. On top of the mountains, the snow lion may also portray hermits and yogis. When "the great yogin of Tibet, Milarepa, once had a prophetic dream that involved a snow lion," Marpa Lotsawa was asked to describe it.

3) The Snow Lioness' Milk is a tale about a snow lioness who gives birth to a
Gesar and Milarepa, two Tibetan cultural heroes, are reported to have been raised by snow lions, according to Tibetan legend. The milk of the snow lioness (Gangs Sengemo in Tibetan) is thought to provide unique nutrients that will help the body regenerate and return to balance.

The nature of the snow lion's milk may be found in certain holy medicines. As Milarepa replies to a man who tries to buy her the Dharma with costly presents, her milk is used to symbolize both the Dharma and her purity:

"In the snowy solitudes, I, the snow lioness, have milk that is like nectar. I wouldn't spill into a normal vessel if I didn't have golden cups.

According to tradition, the lioness extracts milk from her hands, which can move through the hollow balls offered to her to play with. In Tibetan art, this ball is represented as a three-colored "wheel of joy."

4) The dance of the snow lion
The snow lion dance, also known as Senggeh Garcham, is a variation of the lion dance that is performed in Tibetan regions. The Sanskrit term siha is the root of the name seng ge, and cham or garcham is a Buddhist ceremonial dance.

The snow lion dance may be done as a secular dance or as a ceremonial dance by the strong po's monks. People from various Himalayan countries, such as the Monpa people of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, perform this dance, which is known as Singhi Chham.

Dance of the Snow Lion

5) In Buddhist sculpture, the lion is portrayed as a vessel for a variety of Vajrayana deities, including Vaishravana and Manjushri, and as an emblem of Shakyamuni Buddha in early Buddhism. In different types of Buddha nirmanakaya, the lion throne can be used.

In Tibetan Buddhist sculpture, the lion is portrayed as a snow lion in India. The snow lion is the Buddha's guardian, as well as the keeper of the Buddha throne in paintings and sculptures (one on the left and one on the right of the throne).

The throne of a Buddha may also be portrayed by eight snow lions, which represent Shakyamuni Buddha's eight major bodhisattvas.

The snow lion's body is white, while its mane, ears, and leg curls are blue or green, as we saw earlier. Although the majority of snow lions in Buddhist art are portrayed as males, others are depicted as females.

The male is on the left and the female is on the right when portrayed as a pair. Sculptural snow lions are frequently constructed of gilded and painted metal.

6) Characteristics
The snow lion, like the western unicorn, is a tulku or personification of ananda "love, bliss" (Wylie: dga'). While it does not climb, the snow lion's feet never leave the earth, and its life is a playful continuum (Wylie: rgyud) of leaps from peak to peak.

The snow lion's energetic strength (wisdom or shakti) is reflected in the attribute of the gankyil or "ananda-wheel," which the snow lion holds in perpetual play. The gankyil, or energetic signature of the trikaya, is the primary multi-purpose emblem and instructional instrument of all Dzogchen doctrinal trinities. The gankyil is the inner wheel of the Dharmacakra of Vajrayana Buddhism's Ashtamangala route.

Tattoo with a Snow Lion

7) Scream
The snow lion has a roar that represents the sound of "emptiness" (Sanskrit: nyat), bravery, and reality, and is thus also associated with Buddhadharma. The teachings of Buddha, for it signifies salvation from karma and the difficult call to enlightenment. This one was thought to be so strong that a single roar could trigger seven dragons to fall from the sky.

The Tibetan Lion Dog is number eight on the chart.
Because of its similarity to the snow lion, the Lhasa Apso is sometimes known as the Tibetan Lion Dog. However, it is unknown if the dog was modeled to imitate the snow lion or whether the dog's characteristics inspired its style. This trait reminds us of the traits of the Fo lion.