Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Padmasambhava - Guru Dragpo (meditational form)

པད་མ་འབྱུང་གནས། 莲花生大士
(item no. 65125)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1400 - 1499
Lineages Nyingma and Buddhist
Size 64.77x52.71cm (25.50x20.75in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc. #C2002.24.9
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Wrathful

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Guru Dragpo, (English: Wrathful Teacher) fierce Padmasambhava, from the Terma (Revealed Treasure) Lineage of Nyang Ral Nyima Ozer (1124-1192).

Very fierce, red in colour, with one face and three eyes, he has a gaping mouth and yellow hair flowing upward. The right hand holds upraised a gold vajra sceptre, the left a black scorpion with numerous eyes. Adorned with a crown, earrings, bracelets and necklaces of gold and a large green writhing snake, he wears a garland of heads and an elephant skin draped across the shoulders. A tiger skin covers the lower body. With the right leg bent and left extended atop a seat of two prone figures, a sun disc, and multi-coloured lotus blossom, he stands surrounded by the red flames of pristine awareness. A Garuda bird soars at the apex of the flames.

"From the wrathful mandala of natural great bliss, Padma Krodha, with a red-black blazing body, one face, two hands, two legs outstretched; homage to the form of the terrifying Fierce One." (Nyingma Liturgical Verse).

At the top center is Padmasambhava with the two consorts Mandarawa and Yeshe Tsogyal. Buddhas, deities and lineage teachers are arranged in the top two registers. The upper side registers are filled with retinue figures similar in appearance to the central Guru Dragpo.

The lower side and bottom registers have fourteen mounted protector figures. At the bottom center is a protector deity, blue in colour, with one face and six hands, accompanied by three dancing goddesses, red in colour.

Jeff Watt 8-2011

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Padmasambhava: Guru Dragpo Early Works (15th to 17th century)
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art (RMA): Main Page
Padmasambhava: Guru Dragpo Main Page
Padmasambhava: Guru Dragpo (solitary)
Padmasambhava: Early Images (Primary & Secondary)
Padmasambhava: Guru Dragpo Art History