Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Sitatapatra (Buddhist Deity) - (1000 faces, 1000 hands)

གདུགས་དཀར། ནང་ལྷ། 大白伞盖佛母(佛教本尊)
(item no. 429)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Buddhist
Size 54.61x40.64cm (21.50x16in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment, Fine Gold Line on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# F1996.1.6
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Semi-Peaceful

Gender: Female

Interpretation / Description

Sitatapatra: Vajra Ushnisha Sitatapatra, (Tibetan: dor je tsug tor dug kar mo, English: The White Parasol One of the Vajra Crown Protuberance [of the Buddha]).

Sanskrit: Sitatapatra Tibetan: Dug kar mo

White in colour with 1000 faces, 1000 hands, 1000 legs and 10,100,000 (ten million one hundred thousand) eyes. The main face in front is white, showing a slightly fierce expression, with 9,999 heads radiating outwards to right, left and above. Each face has three eyes, wears a tiara on the head and is adorned with gold and jewel earrings. The first right hand holds the handle of a parasol and an arrow, held to the heart - unfurled above. Held in the left with the arm outstretched is a Dharma Wheel. She is adorned with various jewel necklaces, ornaments and wears upper and lower garments of silk in a variety of colours. A further 99 pairs of hands hold a Dharma Wheel in the right and an arrow in the left. The remaining right hands hold a vajra, jewel, lotus and visvavajra (double vajra). The remaining left hands hold a bow, sword, lasso and hook.

The 500 legs on the left side are extended above worldly deities and a host of animals and the legs on the right are bent and press down on all worldly troubles, daemons and animals. All the limbs and parts of her body are covered with large staring eyes. She stands on a multi-coloured lotus and moon seat completely surrounded by the flames of pristine awareness.

At the top center is the buddha Shakyamuni with one face and two hands performing the Earth Witness mudra; seated on a lotus cushion. On the left side is a gold bowl filled with the eight auspicious emblems; vase, knot, conch, etc. On the right in plates of gold are precious fabrics, wishing jewels and medicinal plants. Precious offerings are arranged in rows before the lotus seat; a colourful array of wish-fulfilling jewels, shells, red coral, gold and the like.

The practice of Sitatapatra is common to both Nyingma and Sarma. According to the Sarma Schools she belongs to the Kriya Classification of Tantra.

Sarma Lineage: Buddha Tathagata, Ushnisha Sitatapatra, Vajrapani, Dasa Samadhi, Candragomin, Giravati, Vajra Tikshna, Padma Angkusha, Brahmin Ratna Vajra, Jetari, Vajrasana the Senior and Younger, Bari Lotsawa, Denma Kyura Akyab, Sachen Kunga Nyingpo (1092-1158), etc.

Jeff Watt 6-98

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Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 2
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Buddhist Deity: Sitatapatra Main Page