Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Rahula (Buddhist Protector)

སྒྲ་གཅན་འཛིན། སྲུང་མ། 罗护罗(护法)
(item no. 65206)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1400 - 1499
Lineages Nyingma
Size 31.12cm (12.25in) high
Material Bronze
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc. #C2003.7.2
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Rahula: worldly protector deity of the Nyingma Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism based on the Indian god Rahu who represents the phenomenon of the astrological eclipse. (See the Rahula Main Page and Outline Page).

"From a fierce E [syllable] in a realm equal to space, the Lord arises out of wrathful activity, smoky, with nine heads, four hands and a thousand blazing eyes; homage to the Great Rahula - Protector of the Teachings." (Nyingma liturgical verse).

Rahula is wrathful in appearance, with nine heads and a giant face on the belly. It is likely that the depiction of this Buddhist protector is a Tibetan creation and not linked to any Sanskrit literature or Indian religious tradition.

Jeff Watt 11-2011

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

Thematic Sets
Buddhist Worldly Protector: Rahula (Masterworks)
Subject: Eyes in Himalayan Art
Subject: Masterworks (Male Deity Protectors, 男性护法神, སྲུང་མའི་ཚོགས། [ཕོ་])
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Info
Buddhist Worldly Protector: Rahula Iconography
Tibet: Densatil (Protectors)
Tibet: Densatil (Masterworks)
Buddhist Protectors, Worldly Deities (Lokapala)
Nyingma: Sculpture Masterworks Page
Collection of RMA: Best of Collection (Sculpture)
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Sculpture (Gallery 1)
Subject: Faces of Deities (Numbers)
Artist: Sonam Gyaltsen & Atelier (RMA)
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Sculpture Main Page
Artist: Sonam Gyaltsen & Atelier (Sculpture)
Buddhist Protectors: Worldly (Nyingma)
Tradition: Nyingma Protectors
Subject: Protector Deities (Traditions)
Buddhist Worldly Protector: Rahula Main Page
Subject: Himalayan Art Number Sets
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Densatil Sculpture
Collection of RMA: Best of Collection 2
Collection of RMA: Selected Sculpture
Tibet: Densatil Monastery Style Sculpture
Subject: Three Treasure Protectors
Buddhist Deity: Rahula (Sculpture)
Subject: Three Eyed Deities