Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Teacher (Lama) - Sonam Lhundrup

བླ་མ། 喇嘛
(item no. 401)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1500 - 1599
Lineages Sakya and Ngor (Sakya)
Size 63.50x45.72cm (25x18in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment, Fine Gold Line on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# F1997.31.4
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Appearance: Monastic

Gender: Male

TBRC: bdr:P782

Interpretation / Description

Lowo Khenchen Sonam Lhundrub (b.1456/1441 - d.1532/1525): surrounded by various teachers and deities from the Hevajra cycle of Tantras.

Biographical Details

As the central figure, wearing the red and orange robes of a monk and red pandita hat, Sonam Lhundrub, with a light growth of black facial hair, holds the right hand to the heart in the mudra (gesture) of blessing. The left hand holds a religious text in the lap. He is seated on cushions above a tiered throne with a silk brocade backrest. A large blue offering stand filled with jewels is placed in front.

At the top left is the wrathful bodhisattva Bhutadamara Vajrapani, dark blue, with one face and four hands; surrounded by an orange nimbus of fire. At the right is Shri Hevajra in heruka form, blue, with one face and two hands, holding two skullcups, embracing the consort Vajra Nairatmya.

At the upper left is Namka Sanggye, with the right hand in the mudra of blessing and the left hand holding a jewel in the lap. Below that is Sherab Jungne with both hands placed over the knees. Below that is Rang Chompa (ramjampa?) with the right hand in the mudra of blessing and the left holding a book. Below that is another lama (without a name inscription) performing the mudra of blessing and holding a small box to the heart with the left hand.

At the top right an older lama (name illegible) with a light growth of greyish facial hair and wearing a yellow hat performs the Dharma Teaching mudra. Below that, Kunga performs the 'earth touching' mudra and with the left hand holds a long-life vase in the lap. Below that, another lama performs the 'earth' mudra with the right hand and the blessing mudra at the heart with the left. At the bottom right, the last lama (without a name inscription) performs the 'earth' mudra and holds a wishing jewel in the lap with the left hand. All of the lama figures are wearing the orange and red coloured robes of fully ordained monks, some with red pandita hats, and each rests on a cushion seat with a brocade backrest.

In front of the central figure are five wrathful deities, blue-black in colour, standing, with one face and two hands holding gold vajra tipped sticks and skullcups. At the lower center is the god of wealth Jambhala, yellow in colour, with one face and two hands holding fruit in the right hand and a mongoose in the left. Surrounding him are bolts of fine cloth, wishing jewels of various colours and boxes filled with wealth. At the lower right is the wrathful protector Panjarnata Mahakala, black in colour, with one face and two hands holding a curved knife and skullcup, surrounded by the flames of pristine awareness. These deities along with the two at the top belong to the Hevajra cycle of Tantras.

The central figure and five of the surrounding teachers have name inscriptions written in fine gold lettering below each.

Some of his more famous students were Konchog Lhundrub - 10th Ngor Khenchen, Dagchen Ngagwang Dragpa Gyaltsen, Jonang Kunga Drolchog, Lhachog Sengge and Ngari Panchen Pema Wangyal.

Jeff Watt 9-98

Numbered Image:
1. Lowo Khenchen Sonam Lhundrub
2. Namka Sanggye
3. Unidentified
4. Sherab Jungne
5. Kunga
6. Ramjamapa
7. Unidentified
8. Unidentified
9. Unidentified
A. Bhutadamara Vajrapani
B. Heruka Hevajra
H. Yellow Jambhala
I. Panjarnata Mahakala

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Tradition: Sakya Protectors (Composition Examples)
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 2
Tradition: Sakya Teachers
Subject: Jewels (Early Use as Offerings)
Subject: Ngor Tradition (Teachers)
Collection of RMA: Ngor Style Paintings
Painting Set: Ngor Monastery (Related Paintings)
Teacher: Sonam Lhundrub, Lowo Khenchen