Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Indian Adept (siddha) - Kanha (of the East)

རྒྱ་གར་གྱི་གྲུབ་ཆེན། 印度大成就者
(item no. 5017)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1500 - 1599
Lineages Sakya, Ngor (Sakya) and Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Interpretation / Description

Kanha of the East, 8th century (Tibetan: nag po pa shar chog pa): one of the principal students of mahasiddha Virupa along with Dombi Heruka. The surrounding lineage in the upper and side registers is for the Crooked and the Straight, or Crooked Made Straight Lineage of the outer Margapala teachings.

Kanha was a lineage teacher of the Margapala (Path Together with the Result) teachings preserved in the Sakya School. Kanha is famous for teaching the gradual method Margapala while Dombi Heruka was responsible for carrying on the sudden method Margapala. (See the list of teachers).

"With the profound advice, release my mind,
Performing the benefit of others
With the practice of vows;
To Kanha I bow. (Chogyal Pagpa).

Video: Kanha & Krishnacharya

The Path of Chandali [lineage], the Completion and the Two Paths, the Crooked and the Straight: Vajradhara, Vajravarahi, Jalandharapa, Kanha, Dramze Paldzin [Shridhara], Gayadhara, (etc. the same as from the Margapala Lineage) [...Je Drogmi Shakya Yeshe, Je Khar Chungpa Kunrig, Je Shang Gonpawa Chobar, Je Sakyapa Chenpo Kunga Nyingpo, Lobpon Rinpoche Sonam Tsemo, Jetsun Rinpoche Dragpa Gyaltsen, Chokyi Je Sakya Pandita Chenpo, Lama Chokyi Gyalpo (13th century)].

Lower Register Figures from the Bari Gyatsa:
7. Maha Raja Manjushri
8. Vidyadhara Pitaka Samskipta Manjushri
9. Ananga Vajra Manjushri
1O. Dharmadhatu Vagishvara (Manjushri)
11. Manjushri Namasangiti
12. Siddha Kavira (Manjushri)
13. Manjushri Prajna Chakra

Along the bottom register are nine forms of Manjushri drawn from the text known as the Bari Gyatsa. Five additional forms are located on the preceding painting of the Mahasiddha Virupa.

[7] Maharaja Manjushri. [Above] a lion, lotus and moon...is Manjushri with a body orange in colour, one face and two hands, seated in the lalitaraja [posture]. The right hand is extended with the palm down on the right knee, the left holds to the heart a blue utpala stem, with the petals blossoming beside the ear, the same ornaments and garments.

[8] Vidhyadhara Pitaka Samkshepta. [Above] a lotus and moon is white Manjushri Arapachana. Holding a sword and a book, the same ornaments and garments, seated in the lalitaraja [posture].

[9] Anangavajra Manjughosha. Anangavajra Manjughosa, a body yellow in colour, with six hands. The first two hold a flower bow drawn near to the ear with the arrow tipped with a red utpala [flower]. The middle two hold a sword and blue utpala, the lower two, a mirror and branch of the ashoka tree. With the same ornaments and garments. Seated in a manner with the left leg extended.

[10] Dharmadhatu Vagishvara. White Dharmadhatu Vagishvara, with four white faces, eight hands, the first two in the Dharma teaching gesture. The three lower right hold a sword, arrow and vajra. The three lower left, a Prajnaparamita book, bow and bell. With the same ornaments and garments. Seated in the vajrasana [posture].

[11] Manjushri Namasangiti. Lord Manjushri, with three faces and four hands. Having a reddish tinge the body and main face are white. The first two hands hold a sword and book, the lower two an arrow and bow, with the same ornaments and garments.

[12] Arya Manjushri Vajra Siddhi Kavira. White Siddhi Kavira, with one face and two hands, the right [in the gesture of] supreme generosity, the left holding a blue utpala [flower], the same ornaments and garments. Seated in the vajrasana [posture].

[13] Manjushri Prajna Chakra. White Manjushri Prajna Chakra holding a sword and book, with the same ornaments, garments and posture as before.

Jeff Watt [updated 4-2023]

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