Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Yama Dharmaraja (Buddhist Protector) - Inner

གཤིན་རྗེ་ཆོས་རྒྱལ། 阎罗法王
(item no. 24089)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment, Black Background on Cotton
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Wrathful

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Inner Yama Dharmaraja, (Tibetan: shin je cho gyal nang wa. English: Inner Lord of Death, King of the Law). Dharmaraja is the special protector for the Vajrabhairava cycle of Tantric practices and is especially associated with the Rwa Lotsawa Tradition.

Tibetan: Shin je cho gyal

At the top center is a teacher wearing monastic robes and wearing a red pandita hat. On the left side is Heruka Vajrabhairava with one face and two hands embracing the consort Vajra Vetali. On the right side is Arapachana Manjushri, orange in colour.

In the foreground are four wrathful attendant figures, each with a buffalo heads, two arms and standing atop a buffalo.

Indian Lineage: Vajradhara, Shri Vajrabhairava, Jnana Dakini, Lalitavajra, Vajrasana, Amoghavajra, Jnana Sambhava Bepa, Padmavajra, Dipamkara Shrijnana, (the Nepali) Bharo Chag Dum, (the Tibetan) Ra Lotsawa Dorje Drag, etc.

"In the special, noble, Vajra Vehicle, among the numerous four tantras [kriya, charya, yoga and anuttara] this protector is of the Anuttarayoga. Of those, from the three [classes], Method, Wisdom and Non-dual, this is Method Tantra. From the three famous Father Tantras of the Yamari Cycle, Rakta [Red], Krishna [Black], and Bhairava [Terrifying], this is the uncommon protector of the Vajrabhairava." (Ngor Ponlop Ngagwang Legdrup, 19th century).

(See similar brush strokes with a Shadbhuja Mahakala painting set).

Jeff Watt 2-2016

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Collection: Christie's, New York (Painting. March, 2016)
Buddhist Protector: Yama Dharmaraja, Inner
Buddhist Protector: Yama Dharmaraja Main Page