Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Chitipati/Shri Shmashana Adhipati (protector)

དུར་ཁྲོད་བདག་པོའི་ཡབ་ཡུམ། སྲུང་མ། 双身尸陀林主 (佛教 护法)
(item no. 417)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Uncertain
Size 30.48x22.23cm (12x8.75in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment, Fine Gold Line on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# P1996.28.6
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Shri Shmashana Adhipati (Tibetan: pal dur tro dag po yab yum. English: the Glorious Lords of the Charnel Ground - Father-Mother). Also referred to a Chitipati.

Sanskrit: Chitipati Tibetan: Dur tro dag po

In the appearance of two identical skeletons they each have one face, two hands, holding a bone stick in the upraised right and a blood filled skullcup held to the heart in the left. Adorned with skull crowns and ornaments, they wear silk scarves and skirts of various colours standing atop a flat sun disc and multi-coloured lotus seat. In a two storied palace constructed entirely of bones and skulls, Sahaja Chakrasamvara occupies the upper floor. Dark blue in colour with one face and two hands he embraces the consort red Vajravarahi; both surrounded by the flames of wisdom fire. At the upper corners of the palace roof four impaled corpses dangle upright. Three large skullcups arranged at the front of the palace present offerings of blood, the five senses and red triangular shaped torma (stylized food). The grounds in front are littered with the carnage of the charnel environment, dismembered corpses and carrion beasts

Shri Adhipati arises from the Secret Essence Wheel Tantra and is associated with the Chakrasamvara Cycle of Tantras (Anuttarayoga Tantra). Primarily employed as a wealth practice, with emphasis on protecting from thieves, they also serve as the special protector for the Vajrayogini 'Naro Khechari' practice. Shri Adhipati is now common, to a greater or lesser extent, in all the Sarma Schools.

Lineage: Vajradhara, Vajrayogini, Mahasiddha Padmavajra, Lilavajra, Jnana Siddhi, Shri Samayavajra, Chime Lodro Zangpo, Ngulchu Vairochana, Khampa Gvalo Shonnu Pal, Sachen Kunga Nyingpo (1092-1158), etc.

Jeff Watt 4-98

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Buddhist Protectors: Enlightened
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 7
Buddhist Protector: Shmashana Adhipati (Chitipati)
Buddhist Protector: Shri Shmashana Adhipati (Sakya)