Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Worldly Protector (Buddhist) - Dorje Setrab

འཇིག་རྟེན་པའི་ལྷ། ནང་ལྷ། 世俗的神(佛教)
(item no. 31338)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Gelug and Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Tibet House, New York
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Warrior

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Dorje Setrab.

Thoughts of the Fifth Dalai Lama on the subject of Dorje Setrab: "Tendzin Gyatso, the Lingme Choje, Trayag Trulku and Dripa Khapa from Minyag said that one needed an authentic source in the form of an old manuscript for a propitiatory text of Setrabpa, the religious guardian of Sangphu. Nothing could be found except a text said to have been discovered in Yerpa, which was completely untrustworthy and had no beginning pages. So I just wrote one by guessing at what roughly conformed to the iconography depicted in well-known thangkas.

It is not certain that this guardian deity is not one of the seven brothers called Tsengo Barwa Pundun. If that is the case, we can claim that the propitiation of the deity has its source related to the sadhana of the religious guardians found in the Dgongs 'dus. In my opinion, if this is true, there would be no contradiction.

In another respect, the deity has the same form as that of Trashi Wobar, whose cult was brought from India by the great lotsawa and later became the guardian of the Bodong tradition, which followed Panglo. There were therefore no kinds of treasure texts. I think this is similar (to the following idea): the master of Sangphu regarded himself as having 'the same mind stream' as that of Namse Dungmar in the same way that Dagchen Ngagchang said that he had the 'same mind stream' as that of Yeshe Gonpo Gur and Gyalpo Pehar."

(The passage was written in 1664. The Illusive Play, the Autobiography of the Fifth Dalai Lama. Chapter 39, page 507. Translated by Samten G. Karmay. Serindia Publications, 2014).

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Collection of Tibet House: New York (Repatriation)
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Buddhist Worldly Protector: Dorje Setrab Main Page
Subject: 'Tsen' Protectors