Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Teacher (Lama) - Namka Palzang

བླ་མ། 喇嘛
(item no. 65193)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Kagyu, Drukpa (Kagyu) and Buddhist
Size 87.63x57.15cm (34.50x22.50in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc. #C2003.9.1
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

TBRC: bdr:P2631

Interpretation / Description

Namka Palzang, Sangdag (1398-1425): of the Ralung Drugpa Kagyu Lineage and a principal holder of the teaching known as the Six Dharmas of Naropa (naro cho drug). This painting marked 'Left 10' and belongs to a large set of paintings depicting the Drugpa Kagyu lineage of teachers. Two other paintings from the set have been identified.

Biographical Details (TBRC P2631).

At the middle left is Desheg Zurchen Shakya Jungne (1002-1062) and below that his principal student Zurchung Sherab Drag (1014-1074).

At the middle right are Terton Nyangral (1136-1204), Guru Chowang (1212-1270) and Padma Ledrel Tsal. Beneath those are Longchen Rabjampa (1308-1364) and Rigdzin Godemchen (1337-1409).

Jeff Watt 7-2003

Hidden Images:
1. Vase
2. Three Jewels
3. Conch Shell
4. Victory Banner
5. Knot of Eternity
6. Parasol
7. Snow lion

Biography: Sangdag Namkha Palzang, 1398-1425, (gsang bdag nam mkha' dpal bzang, also known as Chagdor Tulku (phyag rdor sprul sku), was the 12th abbot of Ralung Monastery. His father was the 11th abbot of Ralung, Drugpa Yeshe Rinchen ('brug pa ye shes rin chen, 1364-1413). His brothers, Drungdorwa (drung rdor ba, d.u.) and Sherab Zangpo (shes rab bzang po), were also lineage holders. Sherab Zangpo, also known as Chenrezig Tulku (spyan ras gzigs sprul pa), was the 13th abbot of Ralung and authored a biography of his brother. Drungdorwa, who was not a monk, was the grandfather of Drug Nyon Kunga Legpa ('brug smyon kun dga' legs pa, 1455-1529).

Namkha Palzang passed away in 1425 at the age of twenty-eight.

'Jam dbyangs chos kyi grags pa. 1985. Ras chung snyan rgyud gsar ma. Tashijong: Khampa Gar Sungrab Nyamso Gyunphel Parkhang, pp. 65.4 ff.

Roerich, George, trans. 1996. The Blue Annals. 2nd ed. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidas, p. 672.

Shes rab bzang po. 1975 (1432). Nam mkha' dpal bzang gi rnam thar. In: Rwa lun dkar brgyud gser 'phreng. Vol 3, pp. 99-106. Palampur: Sungrab Nyamso Gyunphel Pharkang, Tibetan Craft Community.

Alexander Gardner, November 2009

Extracted from the Treasury of Lives, Tibetan Lineages website. Formatted and edited for the HAR website.

Front of Painting
Wylie Transliteration of Inscription: nam mkha' lta bu nus mthu'i dpal bzang 'dzin phyag na rdo rje la phyag 'tshal yid thig snyigs ma'i khams d(w)angs ma 'gyur med mchog thob shog

Reverse of Painting
English Translation of Inscription: Left ten. Sangdag Namka Palzang.

Wylie Transliteration of Inscription: gyon bcu pa gsang bdag nam mkha' dpal bzang.

Secondary Images
Related Items
Publication: Selection of Works - Painting (RMA)

Thematic Sets
Subject: Hidden Images In Painting
Subject: Hats (Fan-like Hat)
Tradition: Kagyu Teachers (Paintings)
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art (RMA): Main Page
Painting Tradition: Lhatog, Khampa Gar
Collection of RMA: Best of Collection 1
Collection of RMA: Persons Masterworks
Collection of RMA: Painting Masterworks Page
Tradition: Drugpa Kagyu Main Page
Painting Set: Drugpa Kagyu Lineage (Set 2)