Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Teacher (Lama) - (multiple figures)

བླ་མ། 喇嘛
(item no. 30922)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1500 - 1599
Lineages Sakya, Ngor (Sakya) and Buddhist
Material Ground: Cotton
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Interpretation / Description

Four Sakya Lamdre Teachers: Shangton Chobar (1153-1136), Sachen Kunga Nyingpo (1092-1158), Sonam Tsemo (1142-1182) and Dragpa Gyaltsen (1147-1216) from a set of paintings depicting the Lamdre (Margapala) Lineage. This composition is the 2nd right painting in the set (the 4th painting in sequence over all).

The four larger figures represent a sequence of teachers within a larger number of compositions making up a painting set. The full set is designed to have the first painting containing the primordial Buddha Vajradhara placed, or hung as the center piece. The lineage then descends to the right and left sides of that center beginning on the viewer's left. The first painting in the set depicts figure number one. The first painting on the viewer's left has lineage figures 2 through 5. The first painting placed on the viewer's right has figures 6 through 9. The composition above is the 4th painting and contains lineage figures 10 through 13. All of the subsequent compositions in the painting set alternate in the same fashion.

between the four central figures are smaller depictions of teachers. These figures belong to a separate and distinct lineage - the Chakrasamvara. Painting number four above picks up partially into the lineage and depicts the Chakrasamvara lineage figures 13 through 18.

At the bottom of the composition are four prayers dedicated to the principal four figures of the painting.

Shanton Chobar
To Shangton Chobar I bow.

Sachen Kunga Nyingpo
With great compassion,
always performing the benefit of others,
Lord of Yoga Sakyapa;
to Kunga Nyingpo I bow.

Accomplished from limitless merit,
greatly increasing omniscient wisdom,
becoming the supreme kinsman of beings;
To Sonam Tsemo I bow.

Dragpa Gyaltsen
Seeing the reality of all dharmas,
reaching the other side of the ocean of secret Mantra,
Lord of all Vajra Holders;
To Dragpa Gyaltsen I bow.

The prayers belong to a text called the 'Offering Prayers of the Lamdre Lineage' by Chogyal Pagpa (1235-1280). lam 'bras brgyud pa'i phag mchod bzhugs, pages 71-80 [prayers page 73].

Jeff Watt 1-2013

Central Lamdre Lineage - Yellow Numbers:
10. Shangton Chobar
11. Sachen Kunga Nyingpo
12. Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen
13. Lobpon Sonam Tsemo

Chakrasamvara Lineage - Blue Numbers
13. Vijayapa
14. Tilopa
15. Naropa
16. Pamtingpa [brother 1]
17. Pamtingpa [brother 2]
18. Lokkya Sherab Tseg

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Subject: Margapala Sets (Four Figures)
Painting Set: Margapala [17]