Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Arhat/Sthavira (Buddhist Elder) - (multiple figures)

གནས་བརྟན། 罗汉
(item no. 19842)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1600 - 1699
Lineages Gelug and Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment, Red Background on Cotton
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Appearance: Arhat

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Nagasena and Abheda, Elders (sthavira): from a set of paintings depicting Shakyamuni Buddha and the Sixteen Elders, along with attendants and the Four Guardian Kings. The full set is likely to be nine compositions in total following the standard depictions according to the Bengali scholar Atisha and the Kashmiri Pandiita Shakyashri Bhadra.

Nagasena the Elder (Tibetan: ne ten, lu'i de. Sanskrit: Sthavira Nagasena) and Abheda, the Elder (Tibetan: ne ten, mi che pa. Sanskrit: Sthavira Abheda): from the set of 16 great arhats. Tibetan: Neten Lu'i De (gnas brtan klu'i sde).

"On the King of Mountains, Vipulopa is the noble elder Nagasena, surrounded by 1,200 arhats; homage to the One holding a vase and a khakkhara staff." (Sakya liturgical verse).

"On the King of Snow Mountains is the noble elder Abheda, surrounded by 1,100 arhats; homage to the One holding an enlightenment stupa." (Sakya liturgical text).

At the top are four of the Thirty-five Confession Buddhas. The full set of compositions would contain the complete set of thirty-five buddha figures.

Jeff Watt 4-2017 [updated 12-2018]

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Arhat/Sthavira: Nagasena Main Page
Arhat/Sthavira (Buddhist Elder): Abheda Masterworks
Arhat: Abheda Main Page/Sthavira
Painting Type: Red Background
Painting Set: Arhats: Two Main Figure Format
Arhat/Sthavira: Main Page & Arhat/Sthavira Appearance (Elder)
Painting Set: Elders, Red Ground (Baylis/Sothebys)