Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Teacher (Lama) - Karmapa 6, Tongwa Donden

བླ་མ། 喇嘛
(item no. 61034)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1900 - 1959
Lineages Karma (Kagyu) and Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Appearance: Monastic

Gender: Male

TBRC: bdr:P1006

Interpretation / Description

Tongwa Tonden, 6th Karmapa (mthong ba don ldan, 1416-1453), the 18th composition from a large set of Karma Kagyu Lineage Teacher paintings known as the Kagyu Sertreng. (See a short biography of Tongwa Donden and see a list of the Karma Kagyu Lineage Sets).

- Upper right - Vina Sarasvati.
- Middle right with a red cap - 3rd Shamarpa Chopel Yeshe (1406-1452).
- Lower right with a pandita hat - Rongton Sheja Kunzig (1367-1449).
- Lower left holding a book- attendant figure.

At the upper right corner is Vina Sarasvati, goddess of literature, poetry and wisdom. "...the goddess Sarasvati, with a body white in colour, one face, two hands. Seated in a relaxed manner, with a face like the rising moon, eyebrows like drawn lines, two beautiful eyes like utpalas, casting side long glances like shooting stars, a clear complexion, pink cheeks and attractive. The throat is graceful and gently bending; white breasts, round, firm, upright and full. The left hand holds a jewel-studded vina of the gandharavas, the right a pick strumming the vina enthusiastically with the fingertips. With a very slender waist and flexible hips, a body well proportioned, fair, smooth, young, ample flesh and well rounded. Seated with the two legs, white, smooth, relaxed and desirable, in a slightly crouching manner; attractive braids, long and full, half-loose covering the upper back, half tied up in a topknot blazing with a wishing jewel. At the hairline - wearing a beautiful gold chain strung with flowers, blue, red and the like, wearing earrings of gold flowers and utpalas. Next to the ears are flowing silk ribbons; also adorned with many ornaments, jewel earrings, necklaces, bracelets, anklets, belt, long-necklace and the like. Wearing an attractive upper garment of white cotton and a lower garment like a rainbow; fantastically beloved, radiantly desirous - sixteen years of age." (Jamyang Kyentse Wangpo, 1820-1892).

Jeff Watt 7-2015

- The Golden Garland of Kagyu Biographies, Vol.2. Vajra Vidya Institute Library: 2005.
- Patron and Painter: Situ Panchen and the Revival of the Encampment Style. David P. Jackson. Rubin Museum of Art: 2009.

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Teacher: Karmapa Tongwa Donden, 6th
Painting Set: Karma Kagyu Lineage (Sertreng)
Incarnation Lineage: Gyalwa Karmapa Main Page