Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Teacher (Lama) - Kuyalwa Rinchen Gonpo

བླ་མ། 喇嘛
(item no. 4552)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1200 - 1299
Lineages Kagyu, Taklung (Kagyu) and Buddhist
Size 82x63cm (32.28x24.80in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Private
Catalogue # (Formerly the Mimi Lipton Collection)
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Appearance: Monastic

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Kuyalwa (Onpo) Rinchen Gonpo (1191-1236) [Tbrc p1784] (See biography). The dating of the painting should be shortly after the passing of Kuyalwa in 1236.

At the top center in the upper register is the primordial buddha Vajradhara holding a vajra and bell with the hands crossed at the heart. Alternatihokyi Lodro and Milarepa. In the register directly below, on the right side is Gampopa. On the left side is Pagmodrubpa and at the center is Taglung Tangpa Chenpo. The registers are filled with sixty-seven repeated monastic figures with alternating hand gestures. All of theses similar looking individuals are likely to be further representations of Kuyalwa repeated for auspicious proposes.

Immediately surrounding the outer edges of the throne are twelve small seemingly identical unidentified monastic figures. At the bottom left corner is a solitary donor figure with the two hands placed respectfully at the heart.

Taglung Lineage:
1. Shakyamuni Buddha
2. Vajradhara
3. Tilopa
4. Naropa
5. Marpa Chokyi Lodro
6. Milarepa Zhepa Dorje
7. Gampopa Sonam Rinchen
8. Pagmodrubpa Dorje Gyalpo (1110-1170) p127
9. Taglung Tangpa Chenpo, Tashi Pal, 1st Abbot (1142-1209/10) p2649
10. Kuyalwa (Onpo) Rinchen Gonpo, 2nd Abbot (1191-1236) p1784
11. Sanggye Yarjon, 3rd Abbot (1203-1272) p1818
12. Tashi Lama (Mangala Guru, 1231-1297), 4th Abbot p8428
13. Others....

Inscriptions on the Front and Reverse:
An inscription appears on the front of the composition directly below the circle of the mandala. It reads in Tibetan - bla ma rin po che dbon po dpal gyi thugs dam lags - which can be interpreted to mean the 'mind pledge of the precious teacher Onpo Pal.' The recto inscription under the throne is identical to a Vajavarahi Mandala painting. That very inscription has also been identified on several other paintings. It cannot be known exactly when the front inscription was added to the composition but it is likely it was placed there in the last half of the 13th century by students of Sanggye Yarjon. Other inscriptions are located on the reverse giving the additional names of Prajna Guru and Kirti Shri Rashmi Bhadra. Auspicious mantras, dharanis and verses are also written on the reverse of the painting.

Jeff Watt 8-2022

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Teacher: Kuyalwa Rinchern Gonpo
Teacher: Onpo Pal (Front Inscription)