Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Worldly Protector (Buddhist) - Garwa Nagpo

འཇིག་རྟེན་པའི་ལྷ། ནང་ལྷ། 世俗的神(佛教)
(item no. 65488)
Origin Location China
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Nyingma, Gelug and Buddhist
Material Metal
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Wrathful

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Damchen Garwa Nagpo Riding a Goat (English: the the Oath-bound Blacksmith); the main attendant to the worldly protector Dorje Legpa.

Tibetan: Dam chen gar wa nag po

Wrathful with one face and two hands, he is dark blue in colour, with three eyes, bared fangs and bright orange hair flaming upward. The right hand holds aloft a vajra hammer and the left a blacksmith's bellows made of tiger skin. Adorned with a crown of five dry skulls and gold earrings he is lavishly attired in variously coloured full-length garments and felt boots. Riding atop a brown goat with twisted horns he is surrounded by grey smoke and wisps of orange flame. He is often accompanied by messengers and servants such as - a black bear, reddish coloured fox, wild blue mule and a dark grey wolf.

Dorje Legpa and his retinue were originally believed to be subjugated in Tibet by Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava in the 8th century. They are avowed protectors and perform the special function of safeguarding the Nyingma Terma (treasure) tradition.

Garwa Nagpo is also included as a retinue figure for the Karma Kagyu protector Bernagchen Mahakala. The 5th Dalai Lama popularized this protector within the Gelug Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.

Jeff Watt 10-98

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

Thematic Sets
Buddhist Worldly Protector: Garwa Nagpo
Buddhist Worldly Protector: Garwa Nagpo (Masterworks)
Nyingma: Sculpture Masterworks Page
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Sculpture (Gallery 1)
Collection of Jourdan-Barry
Collection of RMA: Selected Sculpture