Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Tara (Buddhist Deity) - (Samaya Yogini)

སྒྲོལ་མ། སྣང་བརྙན་ཡོངས། 度母(本尊)(全像)
(item no. 657)
Origin Location Eastern Tibet
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Jonang (Sakya)
Size 76.20x52.07cm (30x20.50in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# P1998.5.7
Painting School Palpung / Situ
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Semi-Peaceful

Gender: Female

Interpretation / Description

Samaya Tara Yogini (Tibetan: dam tsig drol ma nal jor ma): the central figure and four attendants from the mandala of twenty-five deities from the Sanskrit root text Samajaparamarthasarvakaramodaya-nama-tarayoginitantraraja and the samajaparamarthasarvakarmodaya-uttaratantraraja [Toh 448, 449].

Dark green in colour, semi-peaceful and semi-wrathful, she has one face, three eyes and eight hands. The four right hands hold an arrow tipped with a pink utpala flower, a double-sided damaru (hand drum) and curved knife. The lowest hand with the palm facing outward performs the mudra of generosity. The left hands hold a blue lotus blossom with the stem held to the heart, a bow constructed of utpala flowers, a trident and blood filled skullcup supported on the thigh. An ornate katvanga staff rests against the left shoulder. Adorned with a tiara of five skulls, gold earrings, bracelets and anklets of bone, she wears a necklace of fifty freshly severed heads and a lower garment of tiger skin tied about the waist with a green sash. On a sun disc and multi-coloured lotus seat with the right leg pendant, the foot resting on a pink blossom, she sits in a relaxed manner surrounded by the brightly burning orange flames of the fires of pristine awareness. Offered in front, arranged in a row, are wishing jewels and precious substances.

At the top center is the primordial buddha Vajradhara, blue, with one face and two hands holding a vajra and bell crossed at the heart, seated in vajra posture on a pink lotus blossom. At the left is the Indian teacher Buddhagupta in the appearance of a mahasiddha with the right hand pressed to the ground supporting a relaxed posture and the left extended across the knee holding a folio book. Attired in a short skirt and meditation belt he wears the hair long with some piled on the crown of the head. To the right sits the student and Tibetan lama Taranatha (b.1575) of the Jonangpa lineage wearing a pandita hat and the robes of a monk. With the right hand performing the mudra of blessing at the heart he supports a book in the lap with the left. (The names are inscribed in fine gold lettering below each).

At the top left, in the southern direction, is Krodha Tara, wrathful, blue in colour, holding upraised a sword and riding a blue buffalo on the wind. At the right, in the western direction, is Powerful Tara, semi-wrathful, red, holding a hook and riding a red horse in fire. At the bottom left, in the eastern direction, is Shanti Tara, peaceful, white, holding a lotus blossom while riding a yellow duck on the water. At the right, in the northern direction, is Increasing Tara, peaceful, yellow riding a white elephant on the earth. These are the four main retinue figures from the mandala of 25 deities belonging to the Wisdom-mother Anuttarayoga classification of Tantra.

Lineage: Jaya Vajradhara, Bhagavani Arya Tara, mahasiddha Tailo Prajnabhadra, mahasiddha Lilavajra, Rahulagupta, Lord Dipamkara, Bum Sengge, Tatva Shrimitra, Sanghashri, Ratnadvaja, Nayakashri, Dharmashri, Shakya Rakshita, Sujata, Buddhashri Mitra, Jnana Ratna, Jnana Vajra, Ratigupta, Shantigupta, Buddhagupta Natha, Taranatha (b.1575), etc.

Jeff Watt 1-99

Front of Painting
Wylie Transliteration of Inscription: buddhagupta. taranatha.

Secondary Images
Related Items
Exhibition Appearances
Exhibition: Female Buddhas at Bruce Museum of Art

Thematic Sets
Painting Style: Kham Region (Kham-ri)
Painting Type: Coloured Ground
Painting Style: Palpung Monastery
Subject: Jonangpa Tradition
Painting Set: Twenty-seven Deities (Situ)
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 5
Tradition: Jonang Main Page
Painting Style: Palpung - Peaceful & Semi-Peaceful Deities
Buddhist Deity: Tara, Painting (Masterworks)
Iconography: Deities - Physical Features Page
Buddhist Deity: Tara, Samaya Yogini
Tradition: Sakya Deity Paintings
Buddhist Deity: Tara Main Page (Paintings)