Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Mandala of Buddhakapala (Buddhist Deity)

སངས་རྒྱས་ཐོད་པ། 佛陀嘎巴拉金刚
(item no. 59864)
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: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Five mandalas in a single composition from a set of paintings depicting the mandalas of the Vajravali of Abhayakara Gupta.

The set was painted between 1568 and likely 1575 and created to commemorate the death of the 11th Ngor Khenpo, head of the Ngor sub-school, Sanggye Sengge (1504-1569) [TBRC P2510]. They were commissioned by the 13th Ngor Khenpo Drangti Namkha Palzang (1532-1602) [TBRC P777]. (Learn about other paintings from this set).

The 3rd of the known paintings has five mandalas with a smaller mandala in the middle and four surrounding. The painting has the same inscription on the bottom and at the top as the two other known paintings from the set. It top inscription of this painting states that it is number #10 in the series. The two larger figures depicted in the composition are Ngorchen Kunga Zangpo, founder of the Ngor School, on the left, and Jangsem Lodro Rinchen on the right.

The Deities represented are: 31. Buddha Kapala, 25 Deity 32. Buddha Kapala, 9 Deity 33. Mahamaya, 5 Deity 34. Yogambara (Chaturpita), 58 Deity 35. Jnana Dakini (Chaturpita), 13 Deity

"Buddhakapala is blue with one face and four arms. The right two hold a double-sided drum and a curved knife. The left two hold a skullcup and a katvanga staff. Having three eyes and the pile of hair adorned with a vishva-vajra and crescent moon, a crown of five dry skulls and a necklace of fifty wet, adorned with the five mudras, an elephant hide as a lower garment, standing in a dancing manner, half vajra, expressing the nine moods of dance. [He] embraces the consort Vishvasukha Matri, red, [holding] in the right a curved knife and a skullcup in the left embracing the Lord, surrounded by the eight goddesses."

"Mahamaya, blue, with four faces, blue, yellow, red, green. The first two hands hold a skullcup and katvanga staff while embracing the consort. The lower two [hands] hold an arrow and bow. Standing with the left leg drawn up in a half posture dancing manner. Wearing a human skin upper garment. The consort, Buddha Dakini, is red, the same [in appearance], embracing, with a crown of dry skulls, head necklace and five mudra [ornaments]." (bod brgyud nang bstan lha tshogs chen mo bzhugs so, 2001. ISBN 7-5420-0816-1. Page 380-383).

Aside from the Vajravali lineage of Abhayakaragupta and the Mitra Yogin lineage there are several lineages from India that were passed through Marpa Lotsawa.
Lineage 1: Vajradhara, Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Tilopa, Naropa, Marpa Chokyi Lodro, Ngog Choku Dorje, Shedang Dorje, etc.
Lineage 2: Vajradhara, Kukkuripa, Padmavajra, Tilopa, Naropa, etc.
Lineage 3: Vajradhara, Vajrapani, Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Samantabhadra, Sumati, Gewai Gocha, Namgyal Wangpo, Marpa Chokyi Lodro, etc.

Jeff Watt 11-2011

Front of Painting
Wylie Transliteration of Inscription: rdo rje ''''chang sangs rgyas seng ge''''o dgongs pa rdzogs phyin du grang btsun nam mkha'''' dpal bzang gis gus pas kzheng so

Reverse of Painting
Special Features: (Printed script (Uchen))

Secondary Images
Related Items
Lineage: Vajravali Lineage List

Thematic Sets
Subject: Vajravali Main Page
Buddhist Deity: Buddhakapala Main Page
Painting Set: Vajravali (Drangti Namkha Palzang)
Collection of Richard R. & Magdalena Ernst
Collection of Dr. Richard R. Ernst (Mandalas)
Buddhist Deity: Buddhakapala (Masterworks)
Buddhist Deity: Mahamaya Main Page
Mandala: Five Mandala Composition
Mandala: Four Mandala Composition
Mandala: Painting Composition Types (Number of Mandalas)
Collection: Private 22
Iconography: Text Collections (Abhaya Group)
Collection of Richard R. & Magdalena Ernst (Masterworks)