Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Teacher (Lama) - Puchungwa Shonnu Gyaltsen

བླ་མ། 喇嘛
(item no. 376)
Origin Location Eastern Tibet
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Kadam and Gelug
Size 73.66x46.99cm (29x18.50in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Shelley & Donald Rubin
Catalogue # acc.# P1996.20.22
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Appearance: Monastic

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Puchungwa Shonnu Gyaltsen (1031-1106): from the group of three main students of Dromton Gyalwai Jungne in the Kadampa Lineage of Jowo Atisha.

Biographical Details

At the top left is Rinchen Zangpo wearing monastic robes and holding a folio book with the left hand. Seated at the right is an Indian mahasiddha. At the bottom left is Geshe Tsultrim Gyaltsen wearing monastic attire and seated in vajra posture.

Jeff Watt 8-2003

Puchungwa Zhonnu Gyaltsen (phu chung ba gzhon nu rgyal mtshan) was born in 1031 and passed away in 1106. He studied with Atisha Dīpaṃkara (c.982-1054), and was one of Dromton Gyalwa Jungne's ('brom ston rgyal ba 'byung gnas, 1004/1005-1064) three main disciples, who together were known as the 'three brothers' (sku mched rnam gsum). The other two were Potowa Rinchen Sal Chogle Namgyal (po to ba rin chen gsal phyogs las rnam rgyal, 1027/1031-1105) and Chennga Tsultrim Bar (spyan snga tshul khrims 'bar, 1038-1103).

Although he was said to have avoided gathering a large group of disciples, he founded one of the earliest Kadampa monasteries in Penyul, Puchung.

The masters who studied with him included Karma Drag (kar+ma grags, d.u.), and Janchub Gedze (byang chub dge mdzes, 1084-1167).


Roerich, George, trans. 1996. The Blue Annals. 2nd ed. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidas, pp. 73, 235-236, 263, 267-268,

Roesler, Ulrike, and Hans Ulrich Roesler. 2004. Kadampa Sites of Phempo: A Guide to Some Early Buddhist Monasteries in Central Tibet. Kathmandu: Vajra Publications.

Mi nyag mgon po, et. al. 1996-2000. Gangs can mkhas dbang rim byon gyi rnam thar mdor bsdus. Beijing: Krung go'i bod kyi shes rig dpe skrun khang, v. 2, pp. 23-25.

Alexander Gardner, December 2009
[Extracted from the Treasury of Lives, Tibetan Lineages website. Edited and formatted for inclusion on the Himalayan Art Resources website. March 2013].

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 7
Tradition: Kadampa Teachers (Paintings)
Painting Set: Kadampa & Kagyu Teachers
Collection of Shelley & Donald Rubin