Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Miscellaneous - Offerings

པར་ཤིང་སྣང་བརྙན། སྣ་ཚོགས། 版画 (多种)
(item no. 478)
Origin Location Mongolia
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Gelug and Buddhist
Size 68.58x156.21cm (27x61.50in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# F1996.21.3
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Object/Concept

Interpretation / Description

Wrathful Offerings (Tibetan: kang dze) for the important protectors of the Gelugpa School. An array of various fearsome symbols representing objects that are suitable for offering up to the wrathful deities and protectors.

Tibetan: Kang dze

Located at the center above a lotus, sun disc and white prone figures are the hand objects, garments and ornaments of the meditational deity Vajrabhairava. In the middle is the curved knife and skullcup that are held in the first pair of hands. Surrounding that is a garland of fresh human heads, bracelets, crown of five dry skulls with ribbons and earrings. As a backdrop are the elephant hide and long dark scarf. At the left and right are the remaining 34 hand objects.

Along the top, in place of an ornate latticework and looped garlands, are hanging human skins, intestines, parasols and black birds.

At the left side of the composition and moving to the right are the objects and attributes for the protector deities; Vaishravana, Shri Devi Magzor Gyalmo, Six-armed Shadbhuja Mahakala, and Hayagriva. To the right of the central set of objects, belonging to Vajrabhairava, are the objects of Yama Dharmaraja, the Six-armed White Mahakala, Four-faced Chaturbhuja Mahakala and finally, Guan Yu, the Chinese god of war. Hayagriva and Vajrabhairava are meditational deities, however in the Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan and Mongolian Buddhism they are often included amongst the protectors.

At the lower left are nine objects in a row. The first is a golden bowl atop a lotus seat, filled with the five objects of sensory enjoyment. The next group are the Seven Jewels of Royal Power each on their own lotus seat; a General, Horse, Elephant, Minister, Queen, Jewel and Wheel. The final object at the right of those is a white skullcup filled with representations of the physical senses; eyes, nose, tongue, ears, and heart. Beneath those are a row of further auspicious offerings.

At the lower right are the Eight Symbols of Good Fortune (Eight Auspicious Symbols). Reading them from right to left they are; the Parasol, Golden Fish, Treasure Vase, Lotus, Right-turning Conch Shell, Glorious Endless Knot, Victory Sign, and the Wheel.

Below those at the lower right are the Eight Bringers of Good Fortune, beginning at the left; the Mirror, Ghiwang Medicine, Yogurt, Durva Grass, Bilva Fruit, Right-turning Conch Shell, Cinnabar, and Mustard Seeds.

At the bottom center is the great mountain, Mount Meru, at the center of each Buddhist world system. The top is in the heavens and wider than the base. It rises from a blue ocean below and the sun and moon are located half way up the mountain. On top of the ocean coloured geometric shapes can be seen. These represent the four continents each accompanied by two smaller islands. The southern continent, Jambudvipa, the world of ancient India is located in the foreground and coloured blue.

Along the bottom are various weapons, spears, lances, swords, shields, musical instruments, animal pelts and hides, wild animals, black horses, black yaks and black wolves, some as offerings and others as messengers and attendants to the various protectors.

These types of paintings would commonly hang in the smaller Protector temples (Tibetan: gon kang) of monasteries and represent an offering of all the symbols of those specific deities.

Numbered List:
1. Vaishravana (worldly protector)
2. Shri Devi Magzor Gyalmo (wisdom protector)
3. Shadbhuja Mahakala (wisdom protector)
4. Hayagriva (meditational deity)
5. Vajrabhairava (meditational deity)
6. Yama Dharmaraja (wisdom protector)
7. Sita Shadbhuja Mahakala (wealth deity)
8. Chaturbhuja Mahakala (wisdom protector)
9. Guan Yu (worldly protector)
A. Mount Meru
B. Offerings
C. Offerings

Jeff Watt 5, 2005. Revised 6-2006

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 2
Subject: Kangdze & Mount Sumeru
Subject: Offering Paintings (Kangdze, Multiple Deities)
Subject: Offerings Main Page
Region: Mongolia, Paintings (Miscellaneous Collections)
Collection of RMA: Mongolia (Painting Masterworks)
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Mongolia
Subject: Offering Paintings (Kangdze) Page