Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Teacher (Lama) - Sachen Kunga Nyingpo

བླ་མ། 喇嘛
(item no. 60691)
Origin Location Central Tibet
Date Range 1500 - 1599
Lineages Sakya, Ngor (Sakya) and Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Private
Catalogue # Property from a Private New York Collection
Painting School Ngor
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Appearance: Lay Person

Gender: Male

TBRC: P1615

Interpretation / Description

Sachen Kunga Nyingpo (1092-1158): the foremost Lama of the Sakya School, 3rd throne holder of Sakya. (See the Sachen Kunga Nyingpo Main Page).

Video: Iconographic Elements: HAR 60691

Sa chen kun ga nying po Biographical Details

Surrounding the central figure of Sachen is the Dombi Heruka Hevajra Lineage. It begins at the top center with Vajradhara, blue in colour, and then alternates from figure to figure outward and then again alternates as the lineage descends the right and left registers. The lineage ends at the bottom right with Muchen Sanggye Rinchen (1450-1524), the 8th Abbot of Ngor Monastery.

To the upper left of Sachen is a Buddha figure, yellow in colour, that is not part of the Dombi Heruka Lineage. The Buddha is Suparakirtita Namashri and belongs to the group of Eight Medicine Buddhas. Another Buddha from the group, Ratnachandra, is depicted on the right side. Identification is made based on the Tibetan name inscriptions written below the figures. The preceding painting of Shangton Chobar [currently missing] will likely have the figures of Medicine Buddha and one other. The paintings of Sonam Tsemo and Dragpa Gyaltsen both have two each of the remaining eight Buddhas.

In the bottom register are six deities. Beginning at the left side are Pratyangira, Mantramanudharin, Sahasrapramardana, Sitavati, Rakta Yamari and Heruka Hevajra. Across the entire set of multiple compositions the bottom registers are populated by deities belonging to the Bari Gyatsa and Drub Tab Gyatsa texts. Both of these texts are compendiums of deities which originated in India and later translated into Tibetan in the 11th and 12th centuries.

[Bari Gyatsa 66] Maha Pratyangira. Maha Pratyangira, [with] a body black in colour, one face and six hands. [The three] right [hands] hold a sword, hook and [gesture of] supreme generosity. The left [hold], a red lotus, trident and a wrathful [gesture] together with a lasso. The face has bared fangs and three eyes. Having jewel ornaments and garments of silk. Seated in a manner with the left [leg] extended.

[64] Maha Mantramanudharin [Pancha Raksha]. Maha Mantramanudharin, [with] a body blue-black in colour, one face and four hands. [The two] right hold, a vajra and [the gesture] of supreme generosity. [The two] left, a staff and the wrathful gesture together with a lasso. With the sun as a backrest, the ornaments and manner of sitting are the same as before.

[63] Maha Sahasrapramardana [Pancha Raksha]. Maha Sahasrapramardana, white, with one face and six hands. [The three] right [hands] hold, a sword, arrow and [gesture of] supreme generosity. The left [hold], a bow, lasso and axe. With a moon supporting the back and having peaceful ornaments and [a peaceful] appearance. Seated in a manner of ease.

[65] Maha Sitavati [Pancha Raksha]. Maha Sitavati, [with] a body red in colour, one face and four hands. [The two] right hold a garland and [gesture of] supreme generosity. The left, a hook and a book held to the heart. [Having garments and adornments] the same as the others.

[59] Rakta Yamari. Rakta Yamari, [with] one face and two hands. The right [hand] holds aloft a white stick marked with a fresh yellow human head. The left holds a blood filled skullcup embracing the consort of self light. The face has bared fangs and a curled tongue [and] three round red eyes. Having yellow hair bristling upwards [and] a lower garment of tiger skin. Adorned with the eight great nagas, a necklace of fifty fresh heads and a crown of five dry skulls. Standing on a red buffalo in a manner with the left leg extended.

[75] Hevajra. Shri Heruka, with a body blue in colour, one face and two hands. The right [hand] holds aloft a flaming vajra. The left holds a blood filled skullcup at the heart [and] a katvanga [in the bend of] the elbow, adorned with a pendant and three prongs. Having three round red eyes and slightly bared fangs. Brown hair bristling upwards. Adorned with a garland of human heads and bone ornaments. Wearing a garment of human skin and anointed with body ashes. Standing on a corpse seat in a dancing manner with the right leg extended in a half [vajrasana] posture.

Numbered Image & Dombhi Heruka Hevajra Lineage:
1. Vajradhara (rdo rje 'chang)
2. Nairatmya (bdag med ma)
3. Virupa (birwa pa)
4. Acharya Dombi Heruka (slob dpon dom+bi he ru ka)
5. Alalavajra (a la la badzra)
6. Nagtropa (nags khrod pa)
7. Gandaharipa (gan+dha ri pa)
8. Jayashri Jnana (dza ya shri dza+nyA na)
9. Durjaya Chandra (slob dpon mi thub zla ba)
10. Bhikshu Viravajra (dge slong dpa' bo rdo rje)
11. Drogmi Lotsawa ('brog mi lo tsa ba)
12. Ngaripa Salwa'i Nyingpo (mnga' ris pa gsal ba'i snying po)
13. Khon Gyichub Dralhabar ('khon sgyi chub dgra lha 'bar)
14. Sachen Kunga Nyingpo (sa chen kun dga' snying po)
15. Lobpon Sonam Tsemo (slob dpon bsod nams rtse mo)
16. Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen (rje btsun grags pa rgyal mtshan)
17. Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyaltsen (sa paN kun dga' rgyal mtshan)
18. Rongpa Galo Namgyal Dorje (rong pa rga lo rnam rgyal rdo rje)
19. Dese Rongpa Sherab Sengge (de'i sras rong pa shes rab seng ge)
20. Zhang Dragjor Shab (zhang grags 'byor zhabs)
21. Lama Sonam Lhundrub (bla ma bsod nams lhun grub)
22. Lama Ngagwang Dragpa (bla ma ngag dbang grags pa)
23. Lachen Kunga Gyaltsen (bla chen kun dga' rgyal mtshan)
24. Ngorchen Kunga Zangpo (ngor chen kun dga' bzang po)
25. Kedrub Palden Dorje (mkhas grub dpal ldan rdo rje)
26. Raton Yontan Palzang (rwa ston yon tan dpal bzang)
27. Lowo Khenchen Sonam Lhundrub (glo bo mkhan chen bsod nams lhun grub)
28. Salo Kunga Sonam (sa lo kun dga' bsod nams)
29. Nyenchen Dragpa Lodro (gnyan chen grags pa blo gros)
30. Sharkangpa Sherab Gyaltsen (shar khang pa shes rab rgyal mtshan)
31. Muchen Namkha Palzang (mus chen nam mkha' dpal bzang)
32. Kedrub Palden Dondrub (mkhas grub dpal ldan don grub)
33. Sharchen Sherab Jungne (shar chen shes rab 'byung gnas) [Ludingpa]
34. Khenchen Lhundrub Palden (mkhan chen lhun grub dpal ldan
35. Khedrub Sanggye Puntsog (mkhas grub sangs rgyas phun tshogs)
36. Lama Tashi Wangchug (bla ma bkra shis dbang phyug)
37. Nub Lama Tashi Zangpo (nub bla ma bkra shis bzang po)
38. Khenchen Sanggye Yeshe (mkhan chen sangs rgyas ye shes)
39. Sachen Kunga Lodro (sa chen kun dga' blo gros)
40. Chime Tanpa'i Nyima [Female] ('chi med bstan pa'i nyi ma)
41. Jamgon Dorje Rinchen ('jam mgon rdo rje rin chen)
42. Jampa Kunga Tendzin (byams pa kun dga' bstan 'dzin)
43. Kunga Tenpa'i Gyaltsen (kun dga' bstan pa'i rgyal mtshan)
44. Ngagwang Sonam Gyaltsen (ngag dbang bsod nams rgyal mtshan)
45. Palden Lodro Gyaltsen (dpal ldan blo gros rgyal mtshan gnyis)
46. Loter Wangpo, 1847-1914 (blo gter dbang po)

Jeff Watt 12-2-12 [updated 3-2022]

Secondary Images
Related Items
Religious Traditions Main Page

Thematic Sets
Tradition: Sakya Teachers
Subject: Lay Figure Appearance
Teacher: Sachen Kunga Nyingpo Main Page
Subject: Margapala/Lamdre Lineage [1] (Ngor set)
Subject: Masterworks (Persons, 人物)
Teacher: Sachen Kunga Nyingpo (Masterworks)
Teacher: Sachen Kunga Nyingpo (Masterworks)
Subject: Margapala Lineage [1] (Five Superiors)