Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Teacher (Lama) - Tsongkapa

བླ་མ། 喇嘛
(item no. 24083)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Gelug and Buddhist
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Appearance: Monastic

Gender: Male


Interpretation / Description

Lama Tsongkapa (1357-1419): founder of the Gelugpa School, with the two principal students, Gyaltsab on the left and Khedrup on the right. [See Tsongkapa Outline Page].

Tsongkapa Biographical Details

In the appearance of a monastic scholar with a yellow pandita hat and the orange patchwork robes of a fully ordained monk he performs with both hands the gesture of Dharma teaching at the heart while holding the stems of two white flowers blossoming at both ears supporting on the right a wisdom sword and at the left a book. With the two legs folded in vajra posture he sits upon a moon disc and multi-coloured lotus seat above a lion supported throne. At the front, to the right and left, sit the two close disciples of Je Rinpoche, Gyaltsap Dharma Rinchen (1364-1432) and Kedrup Geleg Pal Zangpo (1385-1438). Both wear orange and red monastic robes and yellow hats.

"From the heart of the Lord of the hundred gods of Tushita, on the peak of a cloud, bright white like a mound of fresh yogurt, Lord of Dharma, Omniscient Lobzang Dragpa, together with sons; please come here." (Gelugpa liturgical verse).

At the top center is Maitreya, the future Buddha, with Atisha seated on the proper right side and Tsongkapa on the left. In the left and right corners are wrathful Krodha Vajrapani and Vignantaka, both blue in colour, holding a vajra scepter.

At the bottom left side is 'Outer' Yama Dharmaraja, blue in colour, standing atop a buffalo. At the right side is Dorje Shugden, the controversial Gelug protector deity, riding a lion, wearing monastic clothes and surrounded by flames. Seated in front is a donor figure in a kneeling posture holding a mandala offering plate.

Jeff Watt 2-2016

Related Items
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Teacher: Tsongkhapa Main Page
Buddhist Deity: Dorje Shugden (Gelug, Minor Figure)
Collection: Christies New York (Painting. March, 2016)
Teacher: Tsongkapa (Descending from Tushita)