Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Sitatapatra (Buddhist Deity) - (1000 faces, 1000 hands)

གདུགས་དཀར། ནང་ལྷ། 大白伞盖佛母(佛教本尊)
(item no. 100629)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Gelug and Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Publication: A Tale of Thangkas
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Semi-Peaceful

Gender: Female

Interpretation / Description

Sitatapatra: Vajra Ushnisha Sitatapatra, (Tibetan: dor je tsug tor dug kar mo, English: The White Parasol One of the Vajra Crown Protuberance [of the Buddha]).

Sanskrit: Sitatapatra Tibetan: Dug kar mo

White in colour with 1000 faces, 1000 hands, 1000 legs and 10,100,000 (ten million one hundred thousand) eyes. The main face in front is white, showing a slightly fierce expression, with 9,999 heads radiating outwards to right, left and above. Each face has three eyes, wears a tiara on the head and is adorned with gold and jewel earrings. The first right hand holds the handle of a parasol and an arrow, held to the heart - unfurled above. Held in the left with the arm outstretched is a Dharma Wheel. She is adorned with various jewel necklaces, ornaments and wears upper and lower garments of silk in a variety of colours. A further 99 pairs of hands hold a Dharma Wheel in the right and an arrow in the left. The remaining right hands hold a vajra, jewel, lotus and visvavajra (double vajra). The remaining left hands hold a bow, sword, lasso and hook.

The 500 legs on the left side are extended above worldly deities and a host of animals and the legs on the right are bent and press down on all worldly troubles, daemons and animals. All the limbs and parts of her body are covered with large staring eyes. She stands on a multi-coloured lotus and moon seat completely surrounded by the flames of pristine awareness.

At the top center is Shakyamuni Buddha. On the left side is a teacher, Amitayus Buddha and Green tara. On the right side is Prajnaparamita, Ushnishavijaya and White Tara. At the bottom of the composition are the Three Mahakal Brothers (gonpo che sum).

The practice of Sitatapatra is common to both Nyingma and Sarma. According to the Sarma Schools she belongs to the Kriya Classification of Tantra.

Sarma Lineage: Buddha Tathagata, Ushnisha Sitatapatra, Vajrapani, Dasa Samadhi, Candragomin, Giravati, Vajra Tikshna, Padma Angkusha, Brahmin Ratna Vajra, Jetari, Vajrasana the Senior and Younger, Bari Lotsawa, Denma Kyura Akyab, Sachen Kunga Nyingpo (1092-1158), etc.

Jeff Watt 6-98 [2-2016]

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Buddhist Deity: Sitatapatra Main Page
Buddhist Deity: Sitatapatra (Masterworks)
Publication: A Tale of Thangkas