Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Indian Adept (siddha) - Damarupa

རྒྱ་གར་གྱི་གྲུབ་ཆེན། 印度大成就者
(item no. 119)
Origin Location Eastern Tibet
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Sakya
Size 50.80x36.83cm (20x14.50in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# P1995.10.1
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Appearance: Mahasiddha

Gender: Male

TBRC: P3300

Interpretation / Description

Damarupa, Mahasiddha (Tibetan: drup thob da ma ru pa): an Indian master of tantric methods, the 5th teacher of the Margapala (Tib. Lamdre) lineage.

Active in appearance, in the garb of a stylized Tantric yogi, light brown in colour with a black beard and hair piled on the crown of the head he is adorned with various flower blossoms. With white bone ear plugs in place of rings, a gold necklace, bracelets, anklets and a long garland of various coloured flowers he wears a long orange scarf and a red - blue trimmed - lower garment. In the right hand upraised is a damaru drum, double-sided, decorated with three silk streamers. The left, placed in the lap holds a gold triangle shaped receptacle. An upright tantric staff (Sanskrit: katvanga) leans against the left upper arm. Relaxed in a posture of ease he sits atop a deerskin on a grassy knoll. Behind at the right is a round blue basket of travelling possessions. At the left side an ornate palace structure frames a seated regal figure - richly attired. (The name inscription is located on the right margin).

"Seeing the excellent meaning of reality,
By releasing from worldly practice
And remaining in the conduct of accomplishment;
To Damarupa I bow." (Chogyal Pagpa).

At the top left is the offering goddess Shabdavajra (sound), white with one face and two hands holding a vina (stringed instrument). Peaceful, wearing gold jewelry and various coloured silks she performs in a standing posture. In the middle is Rupavajra (form), white with one face, performing various mudras (gestures), standing. At the right is Ghandhevajra (smell), yellow, holding to the heart with both hands a white conch shell filled with scented water, standing. At the bottom left is Rasavajra (taste), red in colour, holding with both hands a white skullcup filled with nectar, in a seated posture. In the middle is Dharmadhatuvajra (space element), white, holding a triangular receptacle, seated. At the right is Sparshevajra (touch), green, holding extended in both hands a length of cloth, seated. They each reside on a moon disc and lotus seat surrounded by a nimbus of light. (The name inscriptions are found at the top and bottom margins).

In the Lamdre lineage Damarupa is the teacher of Avadhutipa. Based on composition and style both paintings are likely from the same set and executed by the same artist.

Lamdre Lineage: Vajradhara, Nairatmya, Virupa (9th century), Kanhapa, Damarupa, Avadhutipa, Gayadhara (994-1043), Drogmi Lotsawa (992-1072), Seton Kunrig (1025-1113), Shangton Chobar (1053-1136), Sachen Kunga Nyingpo (1092-1158), Sonam Tsemo (1142-1182), Trakpa Gyaltsen (1147-1216), Sakya Pandita (1182-1251), etc.

Jeff Watt 1-99

Front of Painting
Wylie Transliteration of Inscription: Gru [p chen] da [ma ru] pa [la na] mo, [shapda] rdo rje ma la na mo, gzugs rdo rje ma la na mo, dri [rdo rje ma la na mo], ro rdo rje ma la na mo, chos dbyis ma la na mo, reg pa rdo rje ma la na mo.

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Subject: Margapala Lineage Paintings (Sakya)
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 6
Indian Adept Main Page (Mahasiddha)
Indian Adept: Mahasiddha Painting Set, Lamdre
Painting Set: Lamdre Mahasiddhas
Indian Adept: Damarupa Page
Painting Set: Margapala [7]