Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Mandala of Hevajra (Buddhist Deity)

ཀྱེ་རྡོ་རྗེ། ནང་ལྷ། 喜金刚(佛教本尊)
(item no. 65115)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1500 - 1599
Lineages Sakya and Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Painting School Khyenri
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Shri Hevajra Nine Deity Mandala (Tibetan: pal gye pa dor jei lha gui kyil khor) according to the Lamdre system of the mahasiddha Virupa. This painting is unusual and rare because it does not follow the standard Sakya Lineage of teachers but rather diverges after the time of Lama Dampa Sonam Gyaltsen (1312-1375) and descends with Zung kyi Palwa (1306-1389) in the early Dzongpa Lineage. The latter Dzongpa lineage is centered at Gongkar Chode Monastery.

Bibliographic reference: Hevajra Tantraraja Nama. See an explanation of the Hevajra Mandala Elements.

Sanskrit: Hevajra Tibetan: Gye pa dor je

Within the center of the two dimensional circular diagram (mandala) representing the top view of a three dimensional celestial palace and surroundings is the deity Shri Hevajra and consort with eight attendant goddesses.

Along the top register starting at the left are the lineage of teachers beginning with Vajradhara, Nairatmya, Virupa, Kanha, Damarupa, Avadhutipa, Gayadhara, Drogmi Lotsawa, Seton Kunrig, Shangton Chobar, Sachen Kunga Nyingpo, Sonam Tsemo, Dragpa Gyaltsen, Sakya Pandita, Chogyal Pagpa, etc.

At the bottom left is a donor figure with attendants. At the bottom right are the principal protectors of the Sakya Tradition, Panjara Mahakala, Brahmarupa Mahakala and Shri Devi.

Back of Painting:
Mantra (Skt.): a series of sounds believed to embody the nature of a deity. The three doors of action are the body, voice and mind. It is through the actions of these three that good actions and bad actions are believed to be produced. Mantra recitation forms part of the daily practice of Tantric Buddhists. The most well know mantra is that of the deity Avalokiteshvara and his mantra om mani padme hum, an epithet of the deity meaning jewelled lotus. Written mantra are commonly found on the reverse of a painting placed there as a record of the painting having had a brief or lengthy sanctification blessing or ritual (Tib.: rabne). This painting of Hevajra has elaborated circles of mantra written on the back.

Numbered List:
Center: Hevajra & Nairatmya
1. Vajradhara
2. Nairatmaya
3. Virupa (837-909 approx.)
4. Kanha
5. Damarupa
6. Avadhutipa
7. Gayadhara (994-1043)
8. Drogmi Lotsawa (992-1072)
9. Seton Kunrig (1025-1113)
10. Shangton Chobar (1053-1136)
11. Sachen Kunga Nyingpo (1092-1158)
12. Sonam Tsemo (1142-1182)
13. Dragpa Gyaltsen (1147-1216)
14. Sakya Pandita (1182-1251)
15. Chogyal Pagpa (1235-1280)
16. Shang Konchog Pal (1240-1308)
17. Namza Drag Pugpa Sonam Pal(1277-1350)
18. Lama Dampa Sonam Gyaltsen (1312-1375)
19. Ngagchang Zungkyi Palwa (14th century)
20. Je Zangpo Gyaltsen (14th/15th century)
21. Je Musepa Jampa Dorje Gyaltsen, Dzong Chung (1424-1498)
22. Sempa Chenpo Zhonnu Gyalchog, Gyaltsen Konchog (14/15th century)
23. [no inscription]
- Donor Figure & attendants
24. Brahmanarupa Mahakala
25. Panjarnata Mahakala
26. Shri Devi

Jeff Watt 5-2005 [updated 8-2011]

Secondary Images
Related Items
Exhibition Appearances
Exhibition: Mandala, The Perfect Circle (RMA)

Thematic Sets
Subject: Greyscale - Figurative & General Composition
Buddhist Deity: Hevajra Painting & Textile (Masterworks)
Subject: Lineage Paintings - Linear
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Mandala
Mandala: Main Page
Tradition: Sakya Deity Paintings
Buddhist Deity: Hevajra Main Page
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery I
Mandalas: Sakya Tradition
Painting Style: Gyantse Scroll Paintings (Chi'u Gangpa)
Painting Set: Hevajra Lineage (Dzongpa)
Collection of RMA: Best of Collection 1
Buddhist Deity: Hevajra Mandalas
Buddhist Deity: Hevajra & Lamdre Lineage