Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Teacher (Lama) - Karmapa 3, Rangjung Dorje

བླ་མ། 喇嘛
(item no. 407)
Origin Location Eastern Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Karma (Kagyu)
Size 71.12x50.80cm (28x20in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment, Fine Gold Line on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# F1996.3.1
Painting School Palpung / Situ
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Appearance: Monastic

Gender: Male

TBRC: bdr:P66

Interpretation / Description

Rangjung Dorje, the 3rd Karmapa, (1284-1339): Buddhist master, scholar and teacher to the Mongol court of China.

Kar ma pa Biographical Details

Dignified in a formal pose he holds the two hands to the heart in the mudra of Dharma teaching while grasping the stems of two lotus flowers blossoming at each side supporting an upright gold vajra and bell. Atop the head is the invisible black vajra crown - seen only by those with spiritual purity. Wearing the orange patchwork robes of a fully ordained monk and a meditation cloak he sits with the legs in vajra posture above an ornate cushioned throne with a blue backrest. A small table of personal items stands in front. Behind, a diverse landscape of snowy mountains, clouds, streams and a pool unfolds to meet with a flat grassy expanse in front.

At the top left is the beautiful wisdom goddess of poetry and learning, Sarasvati, white in colour with one face and two hands holding a vina (stringed instrument) and seated in a crouching posture atop a moon disc and blue utpala flower surrounded by rays of light. At the right are two lamas wearing monastic robes and seated cross-legged on simple mats. (The lower lama wears a red cap similar to the black vajra crown of the Karmapas and is likely the first Shamar Rinpoche). At the lower right a monk seated beneath a flowering tree examines a book while a standing attendant monk extends the hands to receive the offerings from a Mongol layman presenting gifts of the seven precious jewels to the Karmapa.

Jeff Watt 2-99

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 2
Tradition: Kagyu Teachers (Paintings)
Painting Set: Karma Kagyu Lineage (Set 12)
Teacher: Karmapa 3rd, Rangjung Dorje
Painting Set: Karma Kagyu Lineage (Sertreng, misc.)
Incarnation Lineage: Gyalwa Karmapa Main Page