Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Miscellaneous

པར་ཤིང་སྣང་བརྙན། སྣ་ཚོགས། 版画 (多种)
(item no. 101504)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Buddhist
Collection Private
Catalogue # Tibet Museum, Lhasa
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Object/Concept

Interpretation / Description

Skullcup (Sanskrit: kapala): a human cranium used for fearsome tantric rituals in Northern Buddhism.

Jeff Watt 6-2005

The skullcup is made from a human skull and used in the Tantric rituals of wrathful deities. The empty skull represents impermanence along with the Buddhist philosophical concept of emptiness (Sanskrit: shunyata). The Tibetan inscription on the label of the storage container records that the cup was made from the cranium of Tenpai Wangchug (also known as Kedrup Chenpo), a great scholar and adept. It was offered to a Dalai Lama by Chungtsang Tulku of Dragyab Monastery in Chamdo, Eastern Tibet. (Text courtesy of the Rubin Museum of Art).

Related Items
Exhibition Appearances
Exhibition: Tibet, Treasures from the Roof of the World

Thematic Sets
Sculpture: Miscellaneous
Ritual Object: Skullcup Main Page