Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Padmasambhava - 8 Forms: Dorje Drolo

པད་མ་འབྱུང་གནས། 莲花生大士
(item no. 298)
Origin Location Eastern Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Nyingma and Buddhist
Size 63.50x41.91cm (25x16.50in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Shelley & Donald Rubin
Catalogue # acc.# P1996.19.3
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Wrathful

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Dorje Drolo, Pema Jungne: wrathful emanation of Padmasambhava from the set of Eight Main Manifestations.

Terrifying in appearance he is maroon in colour with one face, three round staring eyes; the upper fangs bite down on the lower lip. Countless numbers of eyes cover the naked form. The right hand holds aloft a gold vajra - ready to strike. The left hand thrusts with a black kila (Tibetan: phur ba, English: peg) made of meteorite iron. Adorned with a crown of dry skulls, bone earrings, necklace, bracelets and a garland of freshly severed heads he stands with the right leg bent and left extended. Standing atop a tigress - emanation of the consort Mandarava, above two prone bodies, sun disc and a barely discernable pink lotus flower shrouded in grey clouds he is surrounded by the brightly burning orange red-tipped flames of pristine awareness. Beautified with flowering shrubs and a rocky outcropping the foreground is populated with two pleasant birds on an otherwise unadorned background.

"In the experience of great bliss fiercely blazing with wrathful power,
Maroon in colour, holding a vajra and kila,
The two feet dancing expressively atop a tigress;
Homage to Dorje Drolo." (Nyingma Liturgical verse).

For the purpose of subduing the daemons and spirits of Tibet Padmasambhava, at the thirteen mountain retreats each known as the Tiger's Den, appeared as the wrathful Dorje Drolo. The Eight Manifestations belong to the tradition of the Revealed Treasures (Tibetan: ter ma).

Jeff Watt 10-98

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