Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Indian Adept (siddha) - Ghantapa

རྒྱ་གར་གྱི་གྲུབ་ཆེན། 印度大成就者
(item no. 30629)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Gelug and Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

TBRC: bdr:P8895

Interpretation / Description

Ghantapa, Mahasiddha: included amongst the Eighty-four and the condensed Eight Great Mahasiddhas. (See the Ghantapa biography).

Ghantapa iconography: Gantapa has [1] Mahasiddha Appearance, holding a vajra and bell while embracing a consort and flying in the air. At the top right is a [2] siddha figure holding a hand drum and a skull bowl. At the top left is [3] Chakrasamvara and Vajrayogini. At the bottom right are Shri Shmashana Adhipati, male and female, appearing as dancing skeletons.

A set of Twenty-one Taras, dated to the 18th century, depicts as secondary figures the extended nineteen figures of the Panchen Lama incarnation lineage. Composition #17 (left 8) depicts the unusual iconography of the mahasiddha Ghantapa. The two images are obviously drawn from the same source. Note the position of the body, arms, the consort and especially the elongated right foot.

The unique characteristics are the Chakrasamvara in full form along with the wide open sky and clear separation between the land below, and the narrative vignette at the bottom left. The Ghantapa is dynamic with lively movement while embracing a very small consort at the side.

Jeff Watt 7-2013

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Indian Adept: Identifiable Mahasiddhas
Indian Adept: Ghantapa Biography
Indian Adept (Mahasiddha) Study Guide Format
Indian Adept: Ghantapa Main Page
Indian Adept (Mahasiddha): Painting
Collection X, Painting (September, 2013; NY)
Indian Adept: Ghantapa (Masterworks)
Indian Adept: Siddha Appearance Masterworks (Painting)
Indian Adept (Mahasiddha): Painting (Late Period 17th to the Present)
Incarnation Lineage: Panchen Lama (Nartang Extended)
Video: Mahasiddhas (YouTube)