Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Sage of Long-Life (Chinese Deity) - (With Six Elements)

ཚེ་རིང་དྲང་སྲོང་། 长寿婆罗门
(item no. 1095)
Origin Location China
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Arhat

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Sage of Long Life: with Amitayus Buddha in the upper left corner of the composition.

The Sage of Long Life in Himalayan art is an iconic image of an elderly man, sage-like in bearing. He represents long life, health, harmony and wisdom. It is very common to find the Sage painted as a mural at the entrance ways to temples or as a secular image found in the homes of the laity or carved onto furniture for use in temples or homes.

The iconic representation requires six iconographic elements to be included together to create the image of the Sage of Long Life.

Six Iconographic Elements:
1. Rock of long life
2. Water of long life
3. Tree of long life
4. Man with long life
5. Birds of long life
6. Antelope of long life

Jeff Watt 5-2012
在早期的中国, 有一个与世隔绝的美丽的地方叫做大乐纯林。那里有一座大山, 形如右旋的白海螺。在它前面, 具有八种特殊品质的水不断的流淌。 在净土里居住着一位长生不老的圣人,白色臉上帶有略紅的色彩, 胡须是银白的。他的右手拿着一个长寿花瓶, 用白色围巾绑着。他的左手做出慷慨的手势,拿着一个千年寿桃。在圣人的加持下,山后面的河里昼夜流淌着具有八种特殊品质的水。 在他旁边是一棵长寿树(杜松树)。树干非常结实, 盛开着美丽的花朵,为大家提供荫凉。任何感受到微风和荫凉的人将获得长寿。 因为圣人的宽厚和教导佛法,可爱的小鸟们和两只白鹤被吸引到了这里。生活在附近的一对鹿得到了长生不老的加持,愉快地享受着周边的水和食物。 (由噶玛格勒翻译5-2012)

"From an early time in China there was an isolated and pleasant place known as the Pure Forest of Great Bliss (rnam dag bde chen gyi tshal) with a rocky mountain in the shape of a white conch turning to the right. In front is a continuously flowing stream having the eight qualities [of water].

Residing there in the pureland is a sage with immortal life, a white mustache and beard, white face with a reddish hue. In the right hand he holds a longevity vase tied with a white scarf and the left, in a gesture of generosity, holding a peach having ripened for over a thousand years. By the blessing of the sage, from the back of the mountain, a river with eight qualities continuously flows.

At the side is a longevity tree (juniper) with a solid trunk, leaves and foliage spread widely, abundant with beautiful flowers - providing shade and cool air. Whoever feels the breeze and shade will obtain long-life.

Lovely birds and two white cranes gather because of the sage's gesture of generosity and gift of the Dharma. A male and female deer live nearby receiving the blessing of not aging and dying, happily enjoying the water and food." (Translation by Karma Gellek, 5-2012)

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Chinese Deity: Sage of Long-Life
Collection: Private 21
Arhat: Confusions
Publication: Buddhist Symbols in Tibetan Culture (Contents)
Collection of Shelley & Donald Rubin
Chinese Deity: Sage of Long-Life (Masterworks)
Subject: Caves (Deities & Figures)