Ekajata goddess

Ekajata, also she who has but one chignon, in buddha mythology is the Buddhist (Varjayana) goddess of good fortune.

She gives happiness and removes personal obstacles. Occasionally one finds her attending the goddess Khadirayani-Tara. She is an emanation of Aksobhya and a form of Tara.

She mat have one or twelve heads. Her color is blue, and attributes are the arrow, ax, bell, blue lotus, book, bow, conch, cup, hook, image of Amitabha on the crown, knife, noose, skull, staff, sword, and tiger skin.

She is three-eyed.

 

Ekajata goddess

Ekajata, also known as «She Who Has But One Chignon,» is a significant figure in Vajrayana Buddhism, which is known for its rich pantheon of deities and complex iconography.

 

Role and Attributes

  • Goddess of Good Fortune: Ekajata is revered as a goddess who bestows happiness and aids in removing personal obstacles. Her role as a benefactor aligns her with aspects of compassion and protection.
  • Association with Tara: Often, Ekajata is depicted attending Khadirayani-Tara or considered an emanation of Tara, a major goddess in Buddhism known for her compassionate and protective nature.
  • Emanation of Aksobhya: She is also seen as an emanation of Aksobhya, one of the Five Wisdom Buddhas in Vajrayana Buddhism, symbolizing immovability and mindfulness.

 

Iconography

  • Multiple Heads: Ekajata may be depicted with either one head or, in some representations, twelve heads, each symbolizing different aspects of her divine qualities.
  • Color: Her primary color is blue, often associated in Buddhist iconography with depth, stability, and the infinite.
  • Attributes and Symbols: Ekajata is shown with various attributes, each carrying symbolic meaning:
    • Arrow, Bow: Representing focus and the ability to hit the target (overcoming obstacles).
    • Ax, Knife, Sword: Symbolizing the cutting through ignorance.
    • Bell: Denoting wisdom.
    • Blue Lotus, Book: Symbolizing purity and knowledge.
    • Conch: Representing the spread of the Buddhist teachings.
    • Cup, Skull: Symbols of impermanence and enlightenment.
    • Hook, Noose: Tools for capturing and controlling negative forces.
    • Staff: Denoting support and strength.
    • Tiger Skin: A symbol of transformed anger or energy.
    • Amitabha on Crown: Connection to Amitabha Buddha, embodying compassion.
  • Three-Eyed: Her three eyes symbolize the ability to see past, present, and future.

 

Significance in Vajrayana Buddhism

  • Complex Symbolism: Ekajata’s iconography is rich with symbolism, reflecting the complex and multifaceted teachings of Vajrayana Buddhism.
  • Embodiment of Power and Compassion: As a form of Tara and an emanation of Aksobhya, she embodies both compassionate action and the power to overcome obstacles, both internal and external.

 

Cultural Context

  • Vajrayana Practices: In Vajrayana Buddhism, deities like Ekajata play a crucial role in meditative practices and rituals, serving as archetypal guides and protectors for practitioners.
  • Integration in Rituals: Her imagery and symbols are often used in various rituals and meditations, focusing on aspects like protection, overcoming difficulties, and spiritual growth.

 


Source:

Jordan, Michael, Encyclopedia of Gods, New York, Facts On File, Inc. 1993, p. 74