Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Worldly Protector (Buddhist) - Shingjachen, Nujin

འཇིག་རྟེན་པའི་ལྷ། ནང་ལྷ། 世俗的神(佛教)
(item no. 377)
Origin Location Central Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Nyingma and Gelug
Size 86.36x59.69cm (34x23.50in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment, Fine Gold Line on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# P1996.20.23
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Wrathful

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Pehar, Shingjachen, King of Qualities (Tibetan: pe har, yon tan gyal po): an avowed religious protector subjugated by Guru Padmasambhava in the 8th century. Pehar typically appears in five forms known as the Five Kings (Tib.: gyal po ku nga); body, speech, mind, qualities and activities.

Qualities Pehar is dark blue in colour, wrathful in appearance, holding upraised in the right hand a battle-axe and a lasso aloft in the left. Wearing garments of various colours and a round gold hat, he rides atop a black horse surrounding by orange and red flames of wisdom fire.

At the top center is the physician Yutog Yontan Gonpo (with a name inscription written at the side). At the bottom center is the Avowed Blacksmith, wrathful and blue, holding a vajra hammer in the upraised right hand and a tiger skin bellows in the left. He rides atop a brown goat with curved horns. At the left is Tsi'u Marpo, red, riding a blue horse. A monk holding a vajra and a hammer stands at the right side.

There are numerous legends concerning the subjugation of the worldly deity Pehar, however they are all in agreement that he is not indigenous to Tibet. Oath bound to protect the Buddhist teachings by Guru Padmasambhava and originally practiced by the Nyingma School he has since become a Tibetan national protector becoming popular from the time of the Great 5th Dalai Lama and the Ganden Podrang government.

Jeff Watt 11-2000


Pehar, possibly in his Yonten gi Gyalpo, or knowledge, aspect. (Except for the fact that his riding a horse as opposed to the usual dragon.) He is surrounded by his retinue and at the top, Yutok Yonten Gonpo, a famous physician. (There are two famed doctors known as Yonten Gonpo. The first one was born in 790 and was the private physician of King Drisong Detsen, he had gone three times to India and learnt from the Indian masters and physicians. He then went to China to learn from the Chinese masters. He was beleived to have lived 125 years.This particular one represented here is the most famous and was born near Lhasa in Th?lon, he became the personal doctor of the fifth Dala? Lama.) Some general information about the iconography of Pehar. The teaching of Pehar is a terma discovered by Ratnalingpa and was composed at Samye monastery. There are five aspects of Pehar: The Body, Mind, Speech, Knowledge and Activity aspects. The Mind aspect (Tuk ki Gyalpo) of Pehar is brown color with one face and two arms. His right hand is holding a red spear, his left hand is holding a double-edged sword and a lasso. He is wearing a bear skin chale and a black turban. He is riding an elephant, in the midst of fire. The Body aspect (Ku?i Gyalpo) of Pehar is dark blue, with one face and two arms. His right hand is holding a vajra and is left hand is holding a single cymbal. He wears a round hat (tipshu) shaped like a cymbal, gold color, and is riding a black bear. The Knowledge aspect (Yonten kyi Gyalpo) of Pehar is black, with one face and two arms. His right hand is holding an ax, his left a demon?s lasso. He is wearing a tiger skin chale and a black snake skin, and is riding a dragon. The Speech aspect (Sung gi Gyalpo) of Pehar is dark brown, with one face and two arms. His right hand is holding a stick, his left hand a sandal wood club. He wears a black robe and is riding an iron wolf. The Activity aspect (Thinley gyi Gyalpo) of Pehar is navy blue, with three faces and six arms. His first right hand holds a hook, the second an arrow and the third a sword. His first left hand is holding a razor sharp knife, the second a bow and the third a stick. He wears a cymbal-shaped hat, a white chale, tiger skin and leopard skin skirt and is riding a snow lion.

Lama Kunga Rinpoche-2/99

Front of Painting
English Translation of Inscription: Homage to reverend Yutog Yontan Gonpo.

Wylie Transliteration of Inscription: rje btsun gyu thog yon tan mgon po la na mo.

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