Fujisan's Kyareng

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Jomolungma; the Mount Everest

Jomolungma is Tibetan name for the Mount Everest. The world's highest mountain [8848 meter. 29,029 feet] stands in between the borderland of Nepal and Tibet. Many wonder what the word "Jomolungma" really means, and some suggested reference in the blog.

Dhauladhar peak in Dharamsala, India.

Here is my naive attempt to explain the meaning: the Tibetan word "Jomo" stands for Holy and respected female; it could be a nun, fairies, female deities, even queens. Lungma, literally means female elephant or mother-elephant. [Elephant is considered sacred in Buddhism; see how the Buddha was conceived]. So, Jomolungma, as explained above, could be interpreted as "Holy Mother" or "Sacred Mother".

More specifically, etymology of the word "Jomo lungma" could be traced to the ancient protector deities of Tibet. The Mount Everest is believed to be the abode of the Tibetan Goddess Jomo Tseringma, the principal goddess of Tsering Che-nga sisters. Tsering Che-nga is a nomenclature for the five-sister goddesses, who are among the main protector deities of Tibet.

The Five Long-life-sister goddesses are: Tseringma, Thingsangma, Losangma, Drinsangma, and Drosangma. The Goddess Tseringma or Jomo Tseringma is considered to be the chief of the five sisters; she dwells in the Mount Everest. Therefore, the mountain is known as "Jomo Lungma", the abode of Holy Mother.

The Mount Everest is also known in Tibetan as "Jomo Gangkar", Jomo refers to the Goddess Tseringma, and Gang-kar means, "as white as snow". Therefore, the Snow-white Holy Mother.

The place and authority of the Goddess Tseringma in Tibetan pantheon deities is implicit from the fact that under Tsering Chengas, there are further twelve goddesses around the Himalayas under name of Tenma-chunyi headed by the Goddess Yu-dronma. This confirms the popular belief endemic in the Himalayan regions that the Tsering Che-ngas are among the powerful protector deities revered highly not only in Tibet but in the whole Himalayan regions since the time immemorial.

References: Oracles and Demons of Tibet by Rene De Nebsesky - Wojkowitz, And Dungkar Tsigzoe chenmo by Dungkar Lobzang Trinley.

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