Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Padmasambhava - Guru Dragpo (meditational form)

པད་མ་འབྱུང་གནས། 莲花生大士
(item no. 100656)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Nyingma and Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Publication: A Tale of Thangkas
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Wrathful

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Guru Dragpo, (English: Wrathful Teacher) wrathful Padmasambhava with consort, from the Terma (Revealed Treasure) Lineage of Nyang Ral Nyima Ozer (1124-1192).

Guru Dragpo, originating in the 'Revealed Treasure' Tradition of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism, is a wrathful meditational form of Padmasambhava. Although technically a guruyoga practice the function of Guru Dragpo is that of an ishtadevata (meditational deity). In the Nyingma Tradition, following after the early meditational deities of the Guhyagarbha Tantra and Eight Heruka this practice of Guru Dragpo is possibly the most popular and the most represented in art. In the 16th century the teacher Pema Karpo popularized a variation on Guru Dragpo called Guru Dragpur - principally practised in the Drugpa Kagyu School.

The meditational deities of the Nyingma can be divided into three principal categories of deities. The first are those deities described in the [1] Guhyagarbha Tantra. The second category are the [2] Eight Heruka including Mahottara. The third category are all of those forms that are included in the [3] 'Revealed Treasure' Tradition (terma). Many 'Revealed Treasures' are simply variations on the forms of the Guhyagarbha and Eight Heruka, however an entirely new group developed which are based on the being of Padmasambhava. This third group includes deities such as the Outer, Inner and Secret Forms of Padmasambhava which include Guru Dragpo, Simhamukha and many others.

Jeff Watt [3-1999]

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Padmasambhava: Guru Dragpo Main Page
Publication: A Tale of Thangkas
Padmasambhava: Guru Dragpo (With Consort)
Collection: Bonhams San Francisco (Painting. June, 2018)