Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Walse Ngampa (Bon Deity)

དབལ་གསས་རྔམ་པ། བོན། ཡིད་དམ་དྲག་པོ། 瓦赛恩巴(苯教五大本尊之一)
(item no. 200006)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Bon
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# P1999.9.9
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Walse Ngampa (Tibetan: dbal g.sas rngam pa): fierce Tutelary Deity of Body, from the Five Excellent Deities of the Se Fortress according to the Father Gyu (Bon Tantra). (See the Walse Ngampa Main Page).

Wrathful in appearance, blue-black in colour, with nine faces and 18 hands, the three main faces are blue, white and red. Each face has three eyes. Above, the middle faces are that of a tiger, lion and leopard. Above that are a dragon, kyung (King of Birds) and chusing (water monster). Dark yellow flame-like hair flows upward. The two main hands hold a purba (peg) at the heart and embrace the consort - with one face, two hands, and green of colour, wearing a leopard skin skirt. The remaining hands extend to the sides holding various weapons, animals and miscellaneous objects. The main faces are adorned with crowns, earrings and the like. Wrathful vestments decorate the body. In a threatening posture with the left leg bent and the right straight, above two naked figures, a sun disc, multi-coloured lotus and a square throne, he is surrounded by brightly burning orange and red flames of wisdom. In front is an offering of the five senses presented in a white skullcup.

At the top center is Kunzang Gyalwa Dupa (All Good Gathering of Conquerors), white in colour with five faces and ten hands, peaceful in appearance, seated with the legs folded together. At the left is Tritsug Gyalwa, Tonpa Shenrab as an enlightened conqueror. Wearing monastic robes, the right hand is extended forward touching the ground and the left in the lap supports a black begging bowl. At the right side is a lama figure in monastic robes with the right hand held to the heart in a gesture of blessing and the left supporting a book in the lap.

At the lower left is Solo'i Lhago and on the right is Trowo Tsochog Kagying, both blue-black in colour with multiple heads and arms, each embracing a consort. At the bottom right is the wrathful wisdom protector Sipa'i Gyalmo, blue, with three faces and six hands. Extremely fierce in appearance, she rides on a mule surrounded by grey smoke. At the left is a red 'tsen' daemon, Tsenggo Dragpa Gyaltsen, dressed as a warrior, a worldly protector, with one face and two hands, riding a horse. In the middle is the protector Nege Jampa, blue, wrathful, with one face and two hands riding on a grey-blue otter.

Jeff Watt & Lee Hartline 1-2000

(See a before restoration image).

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Bon: Artworks (All)
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 9
Bon: Wrathful Deities Main Page
Bon Religion Main Page
Bon: Iconography (Three Keys)
Bon Deity: Walse Ngampa Main Page
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Bon Artworks
Subject: Three Tantric Deities of Bon
Subject: Five Excellent Ones of the Se Fortress