Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Mandala of Manjushri (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity) - Dharmadhatu Vagishvara, Namasangiti

འཇམ་དཔལ་དབྱངས། 文殊师利菩萨
(item no. 455)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1500 - 1599
Lineages Sakya and Ngor (Sakya)
Size 72.39x67.31cm (28.50x26.50in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment, Fine Gold Line on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# F1996.15.2
Painting School Gyangtse
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Peaceful

Gender: Male

TBRC: bdr:W22003

Interpretation / Description

Dharmadhatu Vagishvara Manjushri with 219 Deities (Tibetan: jam pal cho ying sung gi wang chug lha nyi gya dang chu gui kyil kor): a complex form of the deity Manjushri, first of the seven principal mandalas from the Manjushri Namasangiti Tantra [TBRC W22003]. In total the painting depicts 26 different forms of Manjushri. (See other mandalas of the same subject).

Video: Manjushri Mandala #455

Manjushri is the deity in the middle of the complex circular mandala (center and circumference). He has four faces and eight hands, seated in the cross legged vajra posture. His colour can be either white or orange. The first circle of surrounding deities are the Buddhas of the four directions with attendants and consorts, each in the same appearance as the central figure. Other deities totalling 219 surround the central figures extending outward in descending rank.

Along the top register are fifteen forms of Manjushri. The last three on the right are the Six-faced Yamari, blue-black in colour with six hands, followed by Krishna Yamari, black in colour with two hands and Krishna Yamari with three faces and six hands. All three are fearsome in appearance and stand in a menacing posture. The Six-faced Yamari represents one of the seven principal mandalas of the Namasangiti.

At the upper left is the mandala of Orange Arapachana Manjushri, orange in colour, surrounded by four retinue deities in various colours. This mandala also belongs to the Namasangiti Tantra. At the upper right is the mandala of White Arapachana Manjushri, white in colour, surrounded by four retinue deities all white in colour. This form of Arapachana arises from the Siddhaikavira Tantra.

At the bottom left is White Achala, Blue Achala and White Tara. Blue Achala is the special protector of the Siddhaikavira Tantra.

At the bottom right is Green Tara, Yellow Jambhala and Black Jambhala.

Along the very bottom of the painting is a lengthy inscription dedicating the painting in honour of the Five Superiour Teachers of Sakya (Jetsun Gongma Nga) by Rabjampa Tsultrim Ozer and other students of the teacher Sherab Zangpo.

The Manjushri Namasangiti Tantra was first translated into Tibetan in the 8th century and re-translated during the Sarma period in the 11th century and classified as both a Yoga and Anuttarayoga Tantra. It depicts numerous forms of Manjushri both peaceful, wrathful and full mandalas with many deities such as the Dharmadhatu Vagishvara. Monks and lamas from all traditions memorize the Tantra in early childhood.

The various forms of Manjushri shown above are derived from the textual sources of the early Tantras namely the:
- Manjushri Mulakalpa,
- Siddhaikavira,
- Namasangiti,
- Krishna Yamari,
- Vajrapanjara

Lineage of Teachers: The Perfect Buddha, Holy Manjughosha, Khache Yeshe Dorje, Lobpon Jampal Dragpa, Kepa Palpe Zangpo, Dramze Yeshe Dorje, Sherab Jungne Bepa, Dramze Shepa Dorje, Padmakaravarmin, Shraddhakaravarmin, Lochen Rinchen Zangpo, Lochung Legpai Sherab, Ngog Ge Serwa, Kyangpo Dharma Drag, Triton Kunga Ozer, Khenpo Chokyi Dorje, Kunkhyen Choku Ozer, Pagod Yontan Gyatso, Buton Rinchen Drub, Tugse Rinchen Namgyal, Jamyang Dragpa Gyaltsen (1365-1448), Sharchen Yeshe Gyaltsen (d.1406) [TBRC P3094], etc.

Jeff Watt 8-2005

Numbered List:
1. Dharmadhatu Vagishvara Manjushri (Namasangiti Tantra)
2. Orange Arapachana Manjushri, Five Deity (Siddhaikavira Tantra)
- Drawachen
- Drachenma
- Da'od
- Nyewa'i Drachenma
3. White Arapachana Manjushri, Five Deity (Siddhaikavira Tantra)
- Drawachen
- Drachenma
- Da'od
- Nyewa'i Drachenma
4. Jnanasattva Manjushri
5. Prajna Chakra Manjushri
6. Manjuvajra
7. Vagiraja Manjushri
8. Raja Adhidha Manjushri
9. Vidyadhara Pitaka Prativandha Manjughosha
10. (Anangavajra) Manjushri
11. Dharmadhatu Vagishvara Manjushri
12. Sthirachakra Manjushri
13. Siddhaikavira Manjuvajra
14. Sthirachakra Manjushri
15. Arapachana Manjushri (White)
16. Krishna Yamari, Six-faced (Krishna Yamari Tantra)
17. Krishna Yamari, Black (Krishna Yamari Tantra)
18. Krishna Yamari, Krodha (Krishna Yamari Tantra)
19. Anangavajra Manjushri (Standing)
20. Vashikarana Samadhi Manjushri
21. Dharmadhatu Vagishvara Manjushri
22. (?) Manjushri
23. Trailokya Vashikarana Manjushri
24. (?) Manjushri
25. White Manjushri
26. Vadisimha Manjushri
27. White Achala
28. Blue Achala
29. White Tara
30. Green Tara
31. Yellow Jambhala
32. Black Jambhala

Secondary Images
Related Items
Exhibition Appearances
Exhibition: Mandala, The Perfect Circle (RMA)

Publication: Mandala: The Architecture of Enlightenment

Thematic Sets
Mandala: Mandala Main Page
Buddhist Deity: Manjushri, Dharmadhatu Masterworks
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 2
Tradition: Sakya Deity Paintings
Buddhist Deity: Manjushri Main Page
Buddhist Deity: Manjushri Art History
Buddhist Deity: Manjushri, Namasangiti (Masterworks, Painting)
Buddhist Deity: Manjushri, Namasangiti (Painting)
Painting Style: Tibet (Balri)
Mandalas: Sakya Tradition
Buddhist Deity: Manjushri, Namasangiti Main Page
Subject: Iconographic Bodhisattva
Buddhist Deity: Manjushri (Mandala)
Buddhist Deity: Manjushri, Dharmadhatu Vagishvara Namasangiti
Buddhist Deity: Manjushri (Painting Masterworks)
Buddhist Deity: Manjushri (Compendiums)
Collection of Rubin Museum: Mandala Masterworks
Tantra Classification: Confusions
Mandala: Sakya Masterworks
Buddhist Deity: Manjushri Number Sets
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Mandala
Collection of RMA: Ngor Style Paintings
Subject: Ngor Masterworks
Mandala: Masterworks Page
Buddhist Deity: Manjushri Source Texts, Tantra (84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha)
Collection of Rubin Museum: Mandala Masterworks (Curator's Selection)