Term glossary and Various symbolisms
Abhaya Mudra: in Sanskrit means fearlessness, and the abhaya mudra symbolizes protection, peace, and the dispelling of fear. The gesture is made with the right hand raised to shoulder height, arm bent, and palm facing outward. The gesture is an ancient one, demonstrating that the hand is empty of weapons and thus indicating friendship and peace. To western eyes, it looks like the gesture meaning "stop." In both cases, the gesture implies fearlessness before a potential enemy. In Buddhism, the gesture is a symbol of the fearlessness—and thus the spiritual power—of the Buddha or bodhisattva who makes it.
Ancient Chinese Coins: Coins are symbolic of wealth, for they represent prosperity in its purest form. In Feng Shui, the most effective way in attracting money is by placing three of these coin’s together in you purse or place of business. . Chinese coin’s are strong symbols of prosperity, this belief originated from ancient times when coins were worn as amulets because they were though to protection against disease, evil or negative energy directed at the wearer. These Ching Dynasty coins are round with a square hole in the center. This represents heaven and earth, making it all the more powerful. The four side’s in representative of the elements and the season’s. Besides being used as amulets of prosperity and wealth, they are also used for I Ching (Ancient Chinese Oracle). These coins date back to the Quin dynasty, the last major dynasty in China.
The Bell: A common and essential musical instrument in the tantric Buddhism rituals. Deities and apotheosed lamas hold this symbol, along with the dorje in their hands. The bell features an natural function and its sound is esteemed auspicious; it is also said to dispel evil spirits.The base of the bell must be round, above which there is a vase with the face of the Prajnaparamita. Higher up these are a lotus, a moondisc and a dorje. The hollow of the bell symbolises the fact that wisdom is not separated from emptiness. The tongue represents the sound of emptiness. The eight lotus petals are the eight female deities and the vase simbolically contains the nectar of accomplishment. In Buddhist rituals, the bell is paired with the dorje.The bell represents wisdom, the female principle, and the dorje represents the compassion or activity, the masculine principle. To accomplish enlightenment, these two principles must be combined. The bell is the body, the dorje is the mind, and the sound of the bell represents the speech of the Buddha.
Bodhi Tree: Bodhi seeds are rich in Buddhist tradition tradition. The name bodhi tree translates to “ tree of awakening” and is also referred to as the Bo Tree by native people. It was under a Bodhi tree that the Buddha Shakyamuni sat before reaching enlightenment after 49 days of meditation. Early pilgrims took leaves and seeds of the Bodhi Tree back to their monasteries and homes, and sacred trees throughout India and nearby countries are likely descendent s of the Bodhi Tree. Still today, it is customary to plant a Bodhi Tree in every Buddhist monastery to symbolize the presence of the dharma (Buddhist teachings). In the 3rd century BC, Emperor Asoka's daughter Sanghamitta brought a branch of the Bodhi Tree to Sri Lanka and planted it in Anuradhapura, where it still grows today. According to one tradition, Asoka's wife destroyed the original Bodhi Tree out of jealousy over the time the emperor spent there. Bodhi seeds are worn to represent spiritual promise towards infinite knowledge, Nirvana.
The Buddha: He is perceived in many different ways, varying from culture to culture. The Chinese interpretation of Buddha as fat and joyous, because in their culture that is well revered and an high class expression. He is often depicted carrying old Chinese money and his scepter illustrating the act of bring one prosperity and well as enlightenment. However in India, the Buddha is viewed much differently. He is much skinner and has a much different head, indicative of reaching “ Nirvana” or enlightenment. The different mudras, or sacred hand gestures illustrate various expressions such as protection, spiritual blessings and health. The distinction between buddhism and most other religions is the emphasis of life experience through the noble eight-fold truths rather then worship. One may become enlightened through the true belief’s (what ever that may be), right aspirations, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and rightful meditation.
dZi Beads: The word dZi is pronounced “Zee” or in some regions “Aüh” and can be translated as bright, luminous or shine. dZi beads are revered as sacred amulets, and due to their rarity they can command large sums of money if ever offered for sale. They continue to play a significant role in the spiritual traditions of Tibet and many Himalayan regions. The practice of decorating stone beads has been known since at least 2500 BCE in Mesopotamia,. It is still unclear as to the 'exact' place of origin and time of manufacture when discussing dZi beads discovered in Tibet. The earliest mention of dZi is thought to date back to the time of King Gesar of Ling. The different design’s are indicative of various mystic power’s that are said of bringing luck, warding off evil, stabilize blood pressure, help guard against apoplexy and in enhancing body strength. Owners and wearers of these beads are blessed with unexpected credit, luck and perfection. dZi beads are unique collectibles with ancient powers.
The Chakra's: Derived from the sanskrit word meaning wheel, or vortex. There are seven energy points in our body that govern our psychological properties. Our bodies are made up of an electromagnetic energy sometimes known as the AURA, and the flow of this energy affects our wellbeing. The chakras are responsible for directing and distributing this energy throughout our body. There are chakra’s running from the base of the spine to the crown of the head, each chakra being responsible for distributing energy to different organs, nerves and muscles. When each of the chakra spins at it's perfect frequency the body radiates with balanced health and emotions. Each chakra is stimulated by its own and complimentary color, and a range of gemstones for specific uses. The chakra colors are of the rainbow; red for the root, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet for the crown chakra. The size and brightness of the wheels vary with individual development, physical condition, and energy levels.
Cinnabar: Also known as lacquerware, is yet another practical form of art that was perfected in China. Lacquer is essentially made of the sap from varnish trees present in the region. According to archaeological findings, the Chinese discovered the sap in these trees as early as 7,000 years ago. The sap had a strong adhesive quality and beautiful gloss, and could in turn be used as protective, adhesive and beautifying agent. The chief difference between lacquerware and other ancient implements, such as bronze and porcelain, is that lacquerware must have a mold. Fourth century AD Chinese alchemist, Kou Hung, believed that man is what he eats, and so by ingesting purified compounds, like jade, and metals -- in particular, gold -- he could attain perfection or immortality (ch'ang sheng pu ssu) if he was pure in heart. Cinnabar is symbolic of immortality primarily because it was an ingredient commonly used in elixirs, The red color in the Chinese culture means good fortune or good luck and is often used in Feng Shui.
The Dorje: The Hindi word for “thunderbolt”, it is a sacred metallic object is also called dynamite, destroys all kinds of ignorance and enemies. It is indestructible and can not be bent or broken. The dorje is the symbol of enlightenment. The Bell held in the left hand, representing the female aspect as wisdom; the Dorje, or male held in the right hand, aspect as method. Together, they represent union of wisdom and method, or the attainment of "enlightenment.” The dorje is a symbolic representation of the abrupt change in human consciousness which is recognised by all the great religions as a pivotal episode in the lives of mystics and saints. One becomes increasingly curious why this symbol appears throughout antiquity and in such different cultures, both Pagan, Christian and Buddhist. Perhaps this is because all of our cultures and religions share a common quest: overcoming the often harsh reality that we will all die.
Earth Touch Mudra: The gesture of ‘earth-touching' is perhaps more commonly know as the ‘earth witness’ or ‘earth-touch’ gesture. This gesture is performed by extending the right hand downwards to touch the ground with its fingertips. It symbolizes the precise moment when the awakening Buddha, Shakyamuni, vanquished the army of Mara beneath the bodhi-tree and summoned the goddess of the earth Sthavara, to bear witness to his countless acts of sacrifice. Shakyamuni Buddha is commonly represented upon his enlightenment throne with his right hand touching the earth, and his left hand resting upon his lap in the gesture of meditation. This symbolizes the union of hi method or skillful means in overcoming Mara (right hand), through the perfect wisdom of his deep meditation upon emptiness (left hand). The earth touching gesture is also the mudra of Akshobya, the ‘Unshakable’ blue Buddha of the center or eastern direction.
Freshwater Pearls: A pearl is formed when a small irritant or parasite penetrates and lodges in the mantle tissue of a mollusk. In response, a substance called nacre is secreted, and the creation of a pearl begins. Nacre is a combination of crystalline and organic substances. The nacre builds up in layers, as it surrounds the irritant to protect the mollusk, and after a few years, this build up of nacre eventually form’s a pearl. Cultured or freshwater pearls are considered to offer the power of love, money, protection, and luck. Pearls are thought to give wisdom through experience, to quicken the laws of karma and to cement engagements and love relationships. They are thought to keep children safe. Early Chinese myths told of pearls falling from the sky when dragons fought. i beads are unique collectibles with ancient powers. Pearl’s signify faith, clarity and innocence. They are thought to enhance personal integrity and helpto provide a focus to ones attention. In metaphysical terms a pearl is known as a "stone of sincerity".
Lord Ganesh: He is the beloved lord of success and destroyer of evils and obstacles. He is also worshipped as the god of education, knowledge, wisdom and wealth. The son of God Shiva and Goddess Parvati. He is loved and worshiped by hundreds of millions of Hindus and non-Hindus alike. He is known by many names - Ganesha, Ganesh, Ganpati, Vinayaka, Vighnesha and many others. His ears convey that he is always listening to his devotees. Ganesh is usually depicted as an elephant head figure with a large pot belly. He has four hands with one hand always extended to bless people. Like most other Hindu gods, he has a ‘vehicle’, in his case a rat: this rat is usually shown at the foot of the god, but sometimes Ganesh is astride the rat. This unique combination of his elephant-like head and a quick moving rat vehicle represents tremendous wisdom, intellegence, and presence of mind. Ganesh Chaturthi, a ten day festival in August or September, is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Lord Ganesh.
Hamsa Hand: An ancient Middle Eastern symbolism for the Hand of God. In all faiths it is a protective sign. It brings it's owner happiness, luck, health, and good fortune. Although the hamsa hand has been symbolic in Islam and Judaism for centuries, archeological digs in the Middle East provide evidence that the hamsa pre-dates these religions and originated with the Phoenicians and was used as a protective symbol for an ancient Middle Eastern goddess. The hamsa hand has always been associated with a female entity offering protection from evil and misfortune. The hamsa hand is also a popular apotropaic talisman for magical protection against the evil eye, and is one of the most popular amulets for good luck and prosperity. The word "Hamsa" means "5" and refers to the five fingers. The number 5 is a powerful number and symbolizes defense, power and fortune. The hamsa hand is a lucky ancient amulet. This amulet is made by Tibetan refugees in Kathmandu, Nepal.
The Infinite Knot: The Auspicious or Endless Knot (shrivatsa) is a geometric diagram which symbolises the nature of reality where everything is interrelated and only exists as part of a web of karma and its effect. Having no beginning or end, it also represents the infinite wisdom of the Buddha, and the union of compassion and wisdom. Also, it represents the illusory character of time, and long life as it is endless. It is believed that the presence of mystic infinite knot will benefit every aspect of your life, it is often used in feng shui amulets for love, abundance, feng shui protection amulets, feng shui for career and other feng shui applications.
Jade: In ancient China, people wore jade to ward off evil and injury. It was carved into small symbolic disks called "pi" that were used in religious ceremonies. Many Chinese wore jade pendants and ornaments to indicate social status. Ancient beliefs are still associated with the power of jade still exist, including the practice of wearing jade bracelets for protection in China today. Often times Chinese parents give their daughter’s or son’s jade bracelets to remind them of the parents' protection and love. Jade is regarded as a symbol of the beautiful and precious, embodying the virtues of Confucius: courage, compassion, modesty, wisdom and justice. In ancient China and ancient Egypt it was widely used as a talisman to attract good fortune, friendship and loyalty. When worn as a piece of jewelry, jade is thought to provide protection from one's enemies and can be used to protect one on long journeys. It is also used to attract good luck, it is used for wisdom, for long life and a peaceful death.
Kalachakra's Mantra: "Om Ha Kamala Walaya Soha" which transliterates exactly into ten words. The meaning of these ten words are "life span," "heart," "material possessions," "career/enterprise," "birth," "divine transformation," "extraordinary understanding," "vow," "wisdom," and "all hindrances-transcending awakened state." The Kalachakra deity resides in the center of the Mandala in his palace consisting of four Mandalas, one within the other: the Mandalas of body, speech, and mind, and in the very center, wisdom and great bliss. The palace is divided into four quadrants, each with walls, gates and a center and a specific color. The colors represent the elements and mental types. Black in the east is associated with the element of air and wind. The south is red, representing the element of fire. The west is yellow and associated with the element of earth. The north is white, representing the element of water. The square palace containing the 722 deities is located on the concentric circle representing Earth. The other circles representing water, fire, wind, space and consciousness extend beyond the wall of the palace.
Goddess Kali: The name Kali is derived from the Hindu word that means "time", and that also means "black". Kali in Hinduism, is a manifestation of the Divine Mother, which represents the female principle. Frequently, those not comprehending her many roles in life call Kali the goddess of destruction. She destroys only to recreate, and what she destroys is sin, ignorance and decay. She is equated with the eternal night, is the transcendent power of time, and is the consort of the god Shiva. Fierce, black in color, large, shimmering eyes, destructive, triumphantly smiling amidst the slaughter of billions of demons, wearing a necklace of skulls and a skirt of severed arms, glowing effulgently like the full moon in the night sky, holding the head of a demon, a Trident that flashes like lightning and a knife etched with sacred mantras and infused with Divine Shakti. Kali stands peaceful and contently, suffused with the fragrances of jasmine, rose and sandlewood! Kali is the Guardian. The Protectress.
Kartika: A ceremonial object, symbolic crescent knife or 'chopper', used in Vajrayana Buddhist ceremonies. It symbolizes the severance of all material and worldly bonds and is crowned with a vajra, which is said to destroy ignorance, and leads to enlightenment. The kartika is a key ritual implement in the Tibetan Buddhist practice of Chöd, or 'cutting through demons'. In Buddhist teachings, this tool is held in the right hand of Yamantaka, the conqueror of death. It is also used in Feng Shui. Depictions of Vajrayogini typically contain the kartika as one of her attributes. In the iconography of the dakini, she generally appears with the hooked kartika knife in her right hand. Lama Tsultrim Allione describes the kartika: “The traditional interpretation of the hook in Tibetan Buddhist imagery is that of the hook of compassion. It is the hook which pulls beings out of the cycles of transmigration. The hooked crescent-shaped knife of the dakini with its vajra handle pulls one forth from suffering, chops up the ego-centred self and is guided by the diamond clarity of the vajra.”
Kuan Yin: The Goddess of Mercy, is actually more the Buddhist equivalent of the Madonna. She is a bodhisattva, one who is qualified to enter nirvana, but chose to remain on earth to bring all to enlightenment. Statues of her stand in many Buddhist temples across Tibet and China. Kwan Yin embodies healing and compassion and is one of the most important dieties in Asia, for more then a million people pray to her everyday . She is the one who stills the water and quiets the restless earth. for wisdom. The energy Kwan Yin expresses is to what a mother feels for her child - it is fiercely loving and protective, a much stronger energy than what we usually associate with compassion. Because of her willingness to help, Lady Kuan-Yin is the patron saint of barren women and protects those whose lives depend on the elements, such as farmers and fishermen. It is not unusual to see Lady Kuan Yin in various forms and poses. She will be holding a rosary in one hand, a symbol of her devotion to Buddhism.
Lakshmi: The Hindu Goddess who governs all forms of wealth and success and the paths, means and results of all forms of prosperity. She is depicted in Pink, Gold and White. When Lakshmi's skin color is pink, she is the divine mother. When her skin is gold, She is the universal Shakti and when her skin is white, She is mother earth. As the the consort of Lord Vishnu (Narayana), who is the God of Preservation, Lakshmi Devi is the Goddess of Health and Beauty. Sri Lakshmi embodies her Sublime Beauty, Siddhi, Peace, Strength, Balance, Auspiciousness, Opulence and Wisdom. Because Lakshmi possesses all of these noble qualities, She embodies infinite wealth~ symbolizing that good and noble qualities are the only wealth we can keep. Lakshmi Devi is always depicted sitting or standing on a lotus with golden coins flowing in an endless stream from one of her hands~ symbolic of when the lotus of wisdom blossoms, the wealth of good and the noble.
Lotus: (Sanskrit and Tibetan padma) is one of the Eight Auspicious Symbols and one of the most poignant representations of Buddhist teaching.The roots of a lotus are in the mud, the stem grows up through the water, and the heavily scented flower lies pristinely above the water, basking in the sunlight. This pattern of growth signifies the progress of the soul from the primeval mud of materialism, through the waters of experience, and into the bright sunshine of enlightenment.Though there are other water plants that bloom above the water, it is only the lotus which, owing to the strength of its stem, regularly rises eight to twelve inches above the surface. According to the Lalitavistara, "the spirit of the best of men is spotless, like the lotus in the muddy water which does not adhere to it." According to another scholar, "in esoteric Buddhism, the heart of the beings is like an unopened lotus: when the virtues of the Buddha develop therein, the lotus blossoms; that is why the Buddha sits on a lotus bloom."
Mahakala: a wrathful deity, is considered to be the fierce and powerful emanation of Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion. This tutelary deity is one of the Dharmapalas in Vajrayana Buddhism who defend the Dharma from corruption and degeneration and from forces hostile to it; to keep the site of the ritual free from impure thoughts and actions; to guide and protect the individual practitioner from all kinds of deception and delusion; bestow the power to overcome life struggles; and to eliminate one’s obstacles and impediment that hinders. Mahakala is typically black in color. Just as all colors are absorbed and dissolved into black, all names and forms are said to melt into those of Mahakala, symbolizing his all-embracing, comprehensive nature. Black can also represent the total absence of color and signifies the nature of Mahakala as ultimate or absolute reality and transcendence of all form.
Om: Or "Aum" is of paramount importance in Hinduism. This symbol, is a sacred syllable representing Brahman, the impersonal Absolute of Hinduism — omnipotent, omnipresent, and the source of all manifest existence. Brahman, in itself, is incomprehensible; so a symbol becomes mandatory to help us realize the Unknowable. During meditation, when we chant Om, we create within ourselves a vibration that attunes sympathy with the cosmic vibration and we start thinking universally. The momentary silence between each chant becomes palpable. Mind moves between the opposites of sound and silence until, at last, it ceases the sound. In the silence, the single thought—Om—is quenched; there is no thought. This is the state of trance, where the mind and the intellect are transcended as the individual self merges with the Infinite Self in the pious moment of realization. It is a moment when the petty worldly affairs are lost in the desire for the universal. Such is the immeasurable power of Om.
Om Mani Padme Hum: This is the highest Mantra for mankind gifted to us by the thousand Buddhas out of their compassion for all sentient beings. It will protect us from all harm, sufferings, and ill health., It will purify us and free us from all our negative emotions of the mind and speech and through this Mantra we receive the blessings of the wise Mind of Arya Avalokiteshvara who is also known as Kuan Yin Pu Sa. Of all the many mantras of various kinds, such as awareness mantras, dharanis and secret mantras, not one is superior to the six syllables of Chenrezi. The great benefits of reciting this mantra, commonly known as the mani, are described again and again in both sutras and tantras. Recite the mani even once is the same as reciting the whole of the twelve branches of Buddha’s teachings.
The Maneki Neko Cat: This story, which is thought to date back to the beginning of the Edo Period (1603 - 1867), tells of a local priest, who looked after the Gotoku-ji Temple in Tokyo and kept a cat. Despite his poverty, the priest often shared his limited food with his cat. One day, during a storm a samurai sheltering under a tree at the temple saw the priest's cat, apparently beckoning to him to come into the temple for shelter. Just as he approached the cat, a bolt of lightning hit the tree that he had been sheltering under, causing it to crash to the ground where he had previously been standing. Grateful to the cat that had saved his life, the wealthy samurai rewarded the temple with funding for its upkeep and adopted it as his family place of worship.
The Phoenix: is a sacred firebird with beautiful feathers of gold and red or purple and blue. A phoenix lives for 500-1,000 years and then builds itself a nest of myrrh twigs. The nest of myrrh and the phoenix burn fiercely until they are reduced to ashes. Myrrh is a resinous sap that releases heavy, bitter-smelling smoke when ignited. Myrrh was used by the ancient Egyptians to embalm the dead and was also burned as a religious sacrifice. Historically, myrrh has often been worth more than its weight in gold.
Phurba: The Tibetan Buddhist ritual dagger is called the phurba or phurpa in Tibetan Buddhism, and in Sanskrit it is called the kila or the kilaya. The phurba is used in ceremonies, and it is also known as the magic dagger. The three-sided style of the phurba could have also come from an ancient vedic tool used to pin down sacrifices. The phurba has three segments on its blade. The three segments represent three energies. These energies are known as the 'three poisons.' The three poisons are attachment, ignorance, and aversion or fear. The three sides of the phurba also represent the three spirit worlds, and the phurba itself represents the axis of these three spirit worlds. The center of the phurba brings the three spirit worlds together. The phurba's blade represents 'method' and the handle represents 'wisdom'. The phurba is a symbol of stability, and is used during ceremonies. The phurba can be used to tether negative energies during ceremonies. These Phurbas are hand-crafted in Kathmandu, Nepal by skilled Tibetan Refugee artisans.
Prayer Flags: These sacred flags are inscribed with auspicious symbols, invocations, prayers, and mantras. Tibetan Buddhists for centuries have planted these flags outside their homes and places of spiritual practice for the wind to carry the beneficent vibrations across the countryside. Prayer flags are said to bring happiness, long life and prosperity to the flag planter and those in the vicinity. Dharma prints bear traditional Buddhist symbols, protectors and enlightened beings. Prayer flags represent aspects of enlightened mind i.e. compassion, perfect action, and fearlessness. Displayed with respect, Dharma prints impart a feeling of harmony and bring to mind the precious teachings.. The prayer flag tradition is ancient, dating back thousands of years in India and to the shamanistic. The 5 colors of prayer flags represent the 5 basic elements: yellow-earth, green–water, red-fire, white-air, blue-space. Balancing these elements externally brings harmony to the environment. Balancing the elements internally brings health to the body and mind.
Rosewood: The healing power of wooden prayer beads is often in their scent, which is released and revived with usage. The scent of rosewood is traditionally used for nervous tension, frigidity, and headaches.Rosewood is a very special and rare wood that is considered holy and prized in India. This Rosewood mala is a protective wood and believed to shield one from negative energy. It is also known for healing, improving circulation and aids in manifesting what you desire, dream, and need to heal. Rosewood is especially effective in spiritual healing.
Shiva Lingam: Are egg-shaped stones made of cryptocrystalline quartz. They are found in one of the seven holy sites of India - the Narmada River in Onkar Mandhata. Villagers gather the stones from the river and hand polish them.The egg shape is considered a phallic symbol of the Hindu god Shiva. The shiva lingam represents both male and female, as well as the cosmic egg from which all creation emerged.This stone resonates with energies of all the elements - Earth, Fire, Water, Air and Stone.
Tara: Her name translates to sanskrit word meaning"star". She is a Buddhist savior-goddess especially popular in Tibet, Nepal and Mongolia. In Tibet, where Tara is the most important deity, her name is Sgrol-ma, meaning "she who saves." The mantra of Tara (om tare tuttare ture svaha) is the second most common mantra heard in Tibet, after the mantra of Chenrezi (om mani padme hum). The goddess of universal compassion, Tara represents virtuous and enlightened action. It is said that her compassion for living beings is stronger than a mother's love for her children. She also brings about longevity, protects earthly travel, and guards her followers on their spiritual journey to enlightenment. Before she was adopted by Buddhism, Tara was worshipped in Hinduism as a manifestation of the goddess Parvati. The feminine principle was not venerated in Buddhism until the fourth century CE, and Tara probably entered Buddhism around the sixth century CE. According to Buddhist tradition, Tara was born out of the tears of compassion of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. It is said that he wept as he looked upon the world of suffering beings, and his tears formed a lake in which a lotus sprung up. When the lotus opened, the goddess Tara was revealed.
Tortoise or Turtle: An ancient symbol that represents creation, endurance, strength, stability, longevity, fertility, and innocence. The Turtle also provides protection, good fortune , and brings happiness and good omens. In Asian myth the turtle represents order and was thought to have created the entire universe from it's body parts. The heavens were formed from the shell, the earth was created from it's body and it's under shell was the underworld. The turtle endows people with patience, perseverance and longevity. Turtles help humans develop new ideas, learn to relax and enjoy life. The shell is a psychic shield that protects people against the negative thoughts and actions of others. It's believed that turtles have the power to help people relax and allow their ideas to mature properly until they come to fruition. A symbol of longevity and immortality, the turtle is a temporary dwelling place for souls reincarnating on the path to Nirvana. The second incarnation of the god Vishnu.
Zeeba or Zipak: The Zipak originates in a Shaivite legend from the Shandha Purana. Shiva created a demon called Jalandhara from the blaze of his third eye. Jalandhara assumed great power and desired an incestuous relationship with Parvati, the consort of Shiva and Jalandhara's adoptive mother. Jalandhara persuaded Rahu, one of his demonic friends, to demand Parvati's favor. When Shiva got wind of this, he was understandably outraged, so his third eye blazed again, thereby creating the Zeeba, who made a beeline to devour Rahu. Rahu decided that Zeeba was going to eat him bones and all and begged Shiva for mercy; whereupon, Shiva offered forgiveness and called off Zeeba. Because Zeeba had not had anything to eat since coming into the world and had been deprived of his only prey, he turned on himself and devoured his own body until only the head and hands remained. Shiva was very pleased with his handiwork and invited Zeeba to remain as the guardian to his door. Since then, he has become a reminder of the consequences of gluttony and greed and also stands as a guardian of practitioners. Zeeba's fingers point to his missing body to show what can happen when someone is overcome by avarice.