|Date Range||1800 - 1899|
|Lineages||Gelug and Buddhist|
|Material||Ground Mineral Pigment, Fine Gold Line on Cotton|
|Collection||Shelley & Donald Rubin|
|Catalogue #||acc.# P1996.19.7|
Shri Shmashana Adhipati, Father-Mother (Tibetan: pal dur tro gyi dag po yab yum. English: The Glorious Lords of the Pyre, Father-Mother). Also referred to as Chitipati.
In skeletal form, white in colour they each have one face with three red glaring eyes and two hands. The Father on the left holds aloft a bone stick with the right hand and in the left a blood filled skullcup held to the heart, wearing a tiger skin, standing on a conch shell. The Mother holds a stalk of grain in the upraised right and a wealth vase in the left, wearing various silks, standing on a cowrie shell. Both are adorned with a tiara of five dry skulls, ear ornaments and green silk scarves, dancing on one leg above a sun disc and multi-coloured lotus surrounded by the orange flames of pristine awareness.
At the top left is the wrathful deity Vajrapani, blue in colour, holding a vajra and lasso. At the right is White Tara, deity of long-life, performing the mudra of generosity with the right hand and holding a lotus blossom with the left.
Arranged in front below the central figures are three wrathful 'torma' offerings (stylized food) in a black bowl. Two skullcups at the sides contain various wrathful offerings. At the bottom left is the wealth deity Jambhala, yellow in colour, holding a bijapuraka fruit in the right hand and a jewel spitting mongoose in the left, seated in a relaxed posture. Numerous wish-fulfilling jewels are scattered below. At the right is the wealth deity Vasudhara, yellow, holding a wealth vase in the right hand and a stalk of grain in the left; seated in vajra posture with jewels strewn in front.
The painting belongs to the Gelugpa Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The lower garments of tiger skin, silks and unique hand objects are changes made by various Gelugpa teachers and are not described in the root Tantra text of this deity. The shoulder coverings, an artistic elaboration, are also found in painting traditions associated with the Gelug School. The unique hand objects and the two wealth deities seated at the bottom reveal Adhipati's function as both a wealth deity and a Dharma protector.
Adhipati originates with the Chakrasamvara Cycle of Tantras (Wisdom-Anuttarayoga classification) and specifically from the Secret Essence Wheel Tantra, primarily employed as a wealth practice, but also used as a protector when associated with the meditational deity 'Naro Khechari' Vajrayogini. Shri Adhipati was popularized by the early Sakya School and later adopted into the Gelugpa tradition.
Jeff Watt 5-98
Reverse of Painting
Special Features: (includes "Om Ah Hum" inscription)