Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Shenlha Okar (Bon Deity)

གཤེན་ལྷ་ འོད་དཀར། བདེར་གཤེགས་གཙོ་བོ་བཞིའི་ནང་ཚན། 辛拉沃噶(苯教四大如来之一)
(item no. 200016)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1900 - 1959
Lineages Bon
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc. #P1999.13.13
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Shenlha Okar (Tibetan: shen lha o kar tsog shing) surrounded by the field of accumulation for the performance of Refuge (Tib.: kyab dro tsog shing), according to the system of Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen (1859 -1933) - based on his own visionary experience.

White in colour, peaceful in appearance, he holds the two hands in the lap in the gesture of meditation. Adorned with a gold crown, studded with jewels, gold chains and necklaces, bracelets and anklets, the upper body is covered with a green garment. A red scarf wraps about the chest. The lower body is wrapped in a red and blue skirt. Atop a white moon disc and multi-coloured lotus blossom seat, he sits surrounded by a dark blue nimbus studded with precious gems. The head encircled by a light green areola of light is edged with pink. A backdrop of pink lotuses, snow lions, green dragons and pink makara is topped with a garuda unfurling blue wings to the side.

At the upper left a small rainbow sphere encloses the Enlightened Conquerors - 'Sanggye' refuge. At the right the rainbow sphere encloses the Conquering Heroes - 'Sempa' refuge. Between the two is a palace roof with ornate gold medallions emblazoned with the letters A, RAM, OM, HUNG and DZA representing the 'Cho' refuge. Numerous white chortens stand at both sides. Above that are the Five Celestial Conquerors, yellow, blue, red, green and white, also in a rainbow sphere.

At the left side are the wrathful tutelary deities such as Magyu, Walse Ngampa, Gekho, Meri, Purba, and Tagla Membar and the like. At the right side are the Khandromas of the Principal Elements, female in form, with various colours and holding curved knives and skullcups.

At the left of the lotus seat is white Kunzang Gyalwa Dupa with five faces and ten hands. At the right side of the seat is Sherab Chamma, orange, holding a vase and a mirror. Various peaceful tutelary deities and lineage lamas are arranged below. In front of the lower edge of the rainbow is the collection of Bon protectors. Most are wrathful in appearance, encircled by dark smoke and flames. Three more protectors are seen below and at the sides are the Four Kings of the Directions, Namtose, Mizang, and the like.

At the top, above the rainbow sphere are the various accomplished ones and original lineage teachers of Yungdrung Bon.

Jeff Watt & Lee Hartline 1-2000

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Bon Artworks (All)
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery IX
Bon: Miscellaneous
Bon: Refuge Field Main Page (Field of Accumulation)
Subject: Refuge Field Main Page
Bon Deity: Shenlha Okar
Bon: Refuge Field (Shardza Design)
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Bon Artworks