Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Padmasambhava - 8 Forms: Pema Gyalpo

པད་མ་འབྱུང་གནས། 莲花生大士
(item no. 260)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Nyingma
Size 81.28x50.80cm (32x20in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# P1996.12.3
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: King

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Padma Raja, Padmasambhava (Tibetan: pe ma gyal po, pe ma jung ne, English: Lotus King, Lotus Born): #3 from the set of Eight Manifestations of Padmasambhava.

In the guise of a layman he is well attired with long flowing garments of various colours, a headdress, long sleeves and shoes. Holding upraised in the right hand is a double sided hand drum (Sanskrit: damaru) and in the left held to the heart a gold mirror. Adorned with a crown of gold, earrings and necklace he is seated in the relaxed posture of 'royal ease' atop a moon disc and pink lotus blossom surrounded by a nimbus of various lights and a green areola. In front on a raised patch of earth, as auspicious offerings, rests a blue lapis lazuli bowl filled with wishing jewels, precious ornaments and a gold Dharma Wheel.

At the top center is a lama with long flowing black hair and the white lower robe of a layman. At the right is a lama similarly attired with a white robe and the hair bound in a topknot. To the left a lama wearing the robes of a monk with a red pandita hat holds a damaru and skullcup. Below that is a small image of Padmasambhava as he appeared born from a lotus on the Dhanakosha lake; wreathed with the flames of pristine awareness. At the right is a palace scene in the kingdom of Oddiyana.

At the bottom right is the wrathful deity of wealth Jambhala, red, with three faces and six hands standing above a corpse, sun disc and lotus seat. To the left is the wrathful protector Gyalpo Marutse, maroon in colour with one face and four hands holding a curved knife and skullcup in the first pair and a sword in the upraised right and a heart and skull mala in the left. Riding atop a garuda bird biting down on a naga snake he is completely surrounded by the orange flames of a wild mass of fire.

Padma Raja represents the period of time when Padmasambhava remained for 5 years as the king of Oddiyana after being born on a lotus blossom and adopted by King Indrabhuti.

Jeff Watt 10-98

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Buddhist Protector: Marutse
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 7
Padmasambhava: Pema Gyalpo
Padmasambhava: Eight Forms Main Page