Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Indian Adept (siddha) - (multiple figures)

རྒྱ་གར་གྱི་གྲུབ་ཆེན། 印度大成就者
(item no. 1069)
Origin Location Eastern Tibet
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Kagyu, Karma (Kagyu) and Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Shelley & Donald Rubin
Catalogue # acc. #P2001.24.2
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Interpretation / Description

Eighty-four Mahasiddha of the Abhayadatta System based on the depictions documented by Jonang Taranata (1575-1635) as commissioned and painted as murals in the Ganden Puntsogling Monastery, Tibet. (See Abhayadatta Outline Page).

This painting belongs to an eleven painting set and depicts eight Indian adepts, siddhas, from early in the list following the Abhayadatta system: number 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51 and 52. The composition is the 7th painting (L3) in the set and placed 3rd to the proper left of the central painting.

At the top center is the bodhisattva Maitreya, golden in colour, holding a vase in the right hand and a Dharma wheel on a lotus in the left. Standing below and blue in colour is Aparajita, surrounded by flames.

At the middle left is Kamparipa (45) the blacksmith hammering a red-hot piece of metal. At the center is Jalandhara standing beneath a tree performing a dificult yogic posture. At the right is Rahula (47), dark skinned, seated in meditation posture, and surrounded by charnal ground scenes.

At the middle left is the monk Dharmapa (48) seated in a relaxed posture holding a book in the left hand. At the right is Dhokaripa (49), dark skinned and semi-naked, holding a brown bag and a walking stick resting on the right shoulder. Below that is Ghantapa (52) entwined with his consort and flying up into the sky on a blue-green cloud.

At the bottom left is the farmer Medhini (50) ploughing the field with two yoked oxen in front. At the bottom right is Jogipa (53), wearing white garments, in an awkward yogic stance, offering a pink lotus blossom to the shrine of Avalokiteshvara.

Each name is written in fine gold lettering beneath each mahasiddha. The names are also written along the outside edge of the painting in black ink aligning the correct name with the correct siddha prior to the final application of the golden inscriptions on the face of the painting.

Art Represented in Art: at the lower right, in front of a shrine, the siddha Jogipa is offering a flower to an image of Avalokiteshvara.

Numbered List:
Top center: Maitreya Bodhisattva
45. Kamparipa
46. Jalandhara
47. Rahula
48. Dharmapa
49. Dhokaripa
50. Medhini
51. Pankajapa
52. Ghantapada

Jeff Watt 1-2006

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Indian Adept Main Page (Mahasiddha)
Painting Set: Indian Adepts (84) - Palpung Composition
Collection of RMA: Best of Collection 2
Subject: Art Depicted in Art
Subject: Art Depicted in Art (Sculpture - All Images)
Indian Adept (Mahasiddha): Painting Sets