Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Worldly Protector (Buddhist)

འཇིག་རྟེན་པའི་ལྷ། ནང་ལྷ། 世俗的神(佛教)
(item no. 12547)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Gelug and Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Nechung Chogyong, Dorje Dragden: the state oracle of the Ganden Podrang of Lhasa, Tibet.

Dorje Dragden is wrathful with one face and two hands, red in colour, attired in warrior garb. The right hand is held aloft with a spear adorned with a banner. The left hand outstretched holds a lasso. Standing atop two prone figures, sun disc and multi-coloured lotus seat, in front of a gruesome palace, he is surrounded by dark swirls of smoke and cloud.

At the top center is Amitabha Buddha, red in colour. At the left and right are Padmasambhava and Chaturbhuja Lokeshvara. At the far left are right are two teachers, monastic in appearance wearing yellow hats of the Gelug Tradition.

At the bottom left is a monk holding a staff and a string of prayer beads. At the right side is a female figure holding a trident and a skullcup. At the lower center is a wrathful 'raksha' figure, blue in colour, holding a spear and a lasso of intestines.

Excerpt from Oracles and Demons of Tibet by Rene De Nebesky-Wojkowitz, page 125: "The chos skyong rdo rje grags ldan, of a red colour, radiant and of a terrible, horrifying appearance. He has one face and two hands. With his right hand he lifts a red banner, with his left he brandishes a snare, catching with it the 'life-breath' of enemies and obstacle-creating demons. His mouth is open and his tongue moves with the speed of lightning. He bares his strong teeth and wrinkles strongly his forehead. His eyebrows and the hair of his face are aflame. He wears a cuirass and a helmet made of rhino-leather. On his right side he carries a quiver of tiger-skin, and on his left side a bow-case made from the skin of a leopard. He is adorned with jewels, ornaments made of human bone, and wears high boots; he dwells in a vehemently blazing fire-cloud, standing with the right foot bent and the left one stretched out." (sku lnga'i gsol mchod. dge 'dun rgya mthso, 1475-1542).

Jeff Watt 1-2019

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