Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Medicine Buddha - Retinue Figure

སངས་རྒྱས་སྨན་ལྷ། 药师佛
(item no. 65270)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1400 - 1499
Lineages Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Agni (Tibetan: me lha. English: God of Fire): retinue deity of the eastern side of the Medicine Buddha Mandala of Fifty-one Deities. This painting belongs to a larger set depicting all fifty-one deities. Several works from this set are known in Western art collections. (See Vatadhara, Holder of the Wind).

Agni is generally depicted as an elderly man with long white hair piled on the top of the head with some falling loose across the shoulders and back. He also has a white moustache and beard. In the right hand he holds a triangular fire hearth with wisps of red flames above. The left hand holds a bead mala. He is adorned with a crown and jewel ornaments along with various heavenly garments, riding atop a goat.

"...outer circle, in the east...Agni, red, holding a fire pot, riding on a goat." Collection of All Tantras, vol. 1, page 116.

The textile at the to depicts the Eight Auspicious Symbols. The textile below depicts the Seven Jewels of Royalty.

Tenzin Dharlo, 5-2006

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

Thematic Sets
Indian Deity: Agni
Buddhist Deity: Medicine Buddha Set (Yongle)
Subject: Guardians of the Ten Directions
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art (RMA): Main Page
Subject: Strings of Miniature Paintings (Banners)
Buddhist Deity: Medicine Buddha Main Page
Painting Style: Gyantse Scroll Paintings
Subject: Tetrahedron (dharmakara/dharmadayo) Main Page
Subject: Guardians of the Ten Directions
Textile Set: Embroidered Mounts
Buddhist Deity: Medicine Buddha (retinue figures)
Collection of RMA: Best of Collection 2
Buddhist Deity: Medicine Buddha (Retinue Figure Masterworks)