Worldly Protector (Buddhist) - Dorje Shugden
(item no. 30961)


1900 - 1959

Gelug and Buddhist Lineages

Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton

Collection of Private

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Dorje Shugden (English: the Vajra Possessing Strength): a minor Buddhist worldly protector originating in Tibet in the 17th century. In Dorje Shugden's previous birth he is believed to have been the Gelugpa Lama Dragpa Gyaltsen (1619-1656) of Drepung Monastery, a contemporary and a rival to the Lama that was to become the Great Fifth Dalai Lama.

Maroon in colour with one face and two hands he holds in the right a sword and a long hook. In the left hand is a human heart held up to the mouth. He is very fierce with three staring eyes and a gaping mouth with the canine teeth exposed. On the chest he wears a decorative mirrow marked with the Tibetan syllable 'HRIH'. Richly attired in monastic robes and a golden yellow riding hat of Chinese origin, he is completely surrounded by orange and red flames. The mount is a mythical Tibetan snow lion, white with a green mane, fierce in appearance with a snarling face - gazing back.

At the top center is an unidentified Gelug teacher wearing a yellow pandita hat and monastic robes. At the top left is White Chakrasamvara according to the system of Lama Umapa and Je Tsongkapa. At the top right is Brahmanarupa Mahakala.

Jeff Watt 4-2013

View other items in:
Thematic Set
Subject: Monks as Deities & Retinue Figures
Buddhist Deity: Dorje Shugden Main Page
Buddhist Deity: Dorje Shugden Riding a Lion
Collection: Private VI (SRG Archive)
Subject: Controversial Art

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Images Provided Courtesy of Private Collections