Himalayan Art Resources

Item: King - of Shambhala

རྒྱལ་པོ། 国王
(item no. 305)
Origin Location Eastern Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Karma (Kagyu)
Size 77.47x50.80cm (30.50x20in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment, Fine Gold Line on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# F1997.17.6
Painting School Palpung / Situ
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Appearance: King

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Anantavijaya (Tibetan: cho gyal rig den ta ye nam gyal, mtha' yas rnam rgyal), an emanation of Vajrapāṇi, King of Shambhala, 24th vidyadhara in the Kulika Family Line.

Katog Tsewang Norbu text: "the twenty-fourth vidyadara, Taye Namgyal, emanation of Nudze Gyalpo."

Peaceful in appearance and fair of colour, gazing forward with a calm visage he holds upraised in the right hand a gold vajra hook in the shape of an elephant goad. The left hand holds with the index finger pointed in a menacing manner a coiled red lasso. Black hair is piled on the top of the head with some falling loose in strands across the shoulders. The crown is adorned with the buddha Amitabha, red, the hands in the mudra of meditation, seated atop a pink lotus flower. Decorated with gold earrings, a jeweled necklace, bracelets and anklets the King wears a gold coloured shirt and blue scarf across the upper arms with the lower body attired in a dark brown and orange skirt. Seated above a moon disc and pink lotus blossom, he is surrounded by radiant white rays shining outward forming a pink transparent nimbus of light. At the left a goddess, seated in a casual manner on a pink lotus blossom in full bloom, adorned with jewels and silk garments - orange and blue, offers in upraised hands a bowl of blue nectar.

Riding on the clouds at the upper left is mahasiddha Ananda Bhadra wearing the orange robes of a monk, holding a book in the left hand and seated in a relaxed posture on a proper monk's mat. The ground at the lower front is strewn with multi-coloured wishing jewels and precious objects of gold, red coral, bolts of cloth and a tray of rare sweets and fruits. Behind to the right, a flowering tree rises above a rocky outcropping offering refuge to a curious down looking bird. At the bottom left a lotus pond avails itself to a pair of thirsty cranes. A flowering shrub at the lower right stretches forward as an offering.

Shambhala is a hidden Tantric Buddhist country in northern Asia. The Kings are the guardians of the Kalachakra Tantra and maintain in the center of the country a temple containing a large mandala of the deity.

Jeff Watt 3-99

Wisdom Calendar 1995 - January (full catalog list)

Front of Painting
Wylie Transliteration of Inscription: Top left: grubs thob kun bzang dbang po. Lower middle: chos rgyal rigs ldan mtha' yas rnam rgyal na ma.

Related Items
Publication: Wisdom Publications: Calendar Collection

Thematic Sets
Kings: Shambhala (Palpung Misc.)
Painting Style: Palpung - Peaceful & Semi-Peaceful Deities
Kings: Shambhala Kings Iconography
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 2
Painting Set: Situ Panchen Painting Set Commissions
Collection of RMA: Best of Collection 2