Himalayan Art Resources

Item: King - of Shambhala

རྒྱལ་པོ། 国王
(item no. 132)
Origin Location China
Date Range 1900 - 1959
Lineages Gelug
Size 71.12x40.64cm (28x16in)
Material Ground: Textile Image, Brocade
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# P1995.13.1
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Appearance: King

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Manjukirti, 8th King of Shambhala (Tibetan: jam pal drag): founder of the Kulika Lineage of descent, from a set of woven tangkas depicting the prior lives of the Panchen Lamas.

Regal in appearance, gazing on his subjects, the right hand is held upraised in the mudra (gesture) of teaching. The left hand holds a Dharma text in folio style respectfully grasped with a scarf. The head is adorned with a gold crown, gold earrings and the black hair wrapped in a topknot. Wearing long flowing silk brocades of various colours - green and orange, he sits atop an ornate throne before a spacious palace. The figure of an elder sits above on the upper floor. In a lush green garden at the side of a blue lotus pond are various court attendants and wizened figures. At the lower left above white billowing clouds and snow mountains is a red protector deity with one face and two hands, the right holding aloft a spear and banner, riding a dark blue horse. At the top left is Sahaja Heruka Kalachakra, blue in colour, with one face and two hands holding a vajra and bell embracing the consort Vishvamata, yellow, with one face and two hands holding aloft a curved knife. Above an eclipse, sun, moon disc and multi-coloured lotus they stand surrounded by radiant light.

Shambhala is a hidden Tantric Buddhist country in northern Asia. The Kings are the guardians of the Kalachakra Tantra and maintain in the center of the country, in the city of Kalapa, a large temple containing a permanent mandala of the deity.

Jeff Watt 3-1999

Front of Painting
Wylie Transliteration of Inscription: Chos kyi rgyal po lha yi dbang ldan gyi, dpal ldan dus kyi 'khor lo'i dkyil 'khor du, dbang bskur rdo rje shugs kyi pak 'sgrup ba'i, rigs ldan kun gyi theg ma 'jam dpal grags. Krung hva ming sgo'i chang hang bru'u tu'u chin sin thags khang nas btags bskrun.

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