Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Refuge Field (Buddhist) - Gelug Lineage

སྐྱབས་འགྲོའི་ཞིང་ངམ་ཚོགས་ཞིང་། 皈依境(佛教)
(item no. 41214)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Gelug and Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Object/Concept

Interpretation / Description

Shakyamuni Buddha (Tibetan: sha kya tu pa, sang gye. English: the Sage of the Shakya Clan, Enlightened One): surrounded by lineage teachers, Indian adepts, meditational deities, protectors and wealth deities - the Field for the Accumulation of Merit (Tib.: tsog shing).

This Field of Accumulation painting is a rare composition where the viewer sees a vertical hierarchy of figures but is expected to understand that what is depicted is actually a square throne with a giant lotus blossom on top. Seated on the lotus at the center and to the back is Shakyamuni Buddha with Lama Tsongkapa in front. Surrounding those are the tightly packed lineage teachers of the Gelugpa School. Above and slightly behind the head of Shakyamuni are Vajradhara and the Indian adepts important in the lineal transmission of the Gelugpa tradition.

Atop the surrounding pink lotus petals are meditational deities, buddhas and the Sixteen Great Arhats, all in concentric circles. Outside of the lotus and seated on green lotus leaves are the four principal protectors of the Gelugpa School: Shadbhuja Mahakala, Brahmarupa Mahakala, Shri Devi Magzor Gyalmo and Yama Dharmaraja, along with the Four Great Kings of the Directions.

At the bottom center is secret accomplishment Hayagriva.

Jeff Watt 3-2015

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Thematic Sets
Subject: Refuge Field, Gelug (Main Page)
Collection: Bonhams, Painting (March, 2015; New York)
Subject: Refuge Field, Gelug (Lotus Design)