Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Tagla Membar (Bon Deity)

སྟག་ལྷ་མེ་འབར། བོན་ལྷ། 达拉美巴(苯教本尊)
(item no. 200028)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Bon
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# P1999.14.4
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Tagla Membar (English: Tiger-God, Flaming with Fire), the fierce form of a direct disciple of Tonpa Shenrab.

Wrathful, red in colour, with one face and two hands, he has three large round eyes, an open snarling mouth and yellow hair flaming upward. The right and left hands are both upraised and outstretched holding gold wheels. Adorned with a crown of five dry skulls, gold earrings, necklaces and freshly severed heads, across the shoulders he wears a green scarf and wrathful skins of animals and a human. Around the waist is a tiger skin skirt and snakes adorn the body. With the right leg bent and left straight in an aggressive posture atop two prone figures, a sun disc and multi-coloured lotus seat he stands encircled by the swirling orange flames of pristine awareness. Numerous wrathful retinue deities surround the central figure.

In front, directly below, a table supports various ritual objects. Two chortens stand to the sides both crowned with the horns of a Khyung ([King] of Birds). Below that is a lama wearing the red robes of a monk.

At the top center is a wrathful tutelary deity dressed as a warrior. Below that are the Five Celestial Enlightened Ones. Peaceful in appearance, white, yellow, green, blue and orange, adorned with silks and jewels, they each perform unique hand gestures (Tibetan: cha gya).

Jeff Watt & Lee Hartline 1-2000

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Bon: Artworks (All)
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 9
Bon: Wrathful Deities Main Page
Bon Deity: Tagla Membar Main Page
Collection: Christie's, Painting (March, 1999; NY)
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Bon Artworks