Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Teacher (Lama)

བླ་མ། 喇嘛
(item no. 65820)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Sakya, Ngor (Sakya) and Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Interpretation / Description

Muchen Sanggye Rinchen (1388-1469) is the central figure in this painting depicting important teachers from the Sakya Lamdre Lineage of religious masters.

Muchen was a principal student of Ngorchen Kunga Zangpo (1382-1456) and a teacher of many of the brightest people of the 15th century, such as Gorampa Sonam Sengge (1429-1489). Muchen is shown staring at the sun while having a visionary experience of seeing a deity standing in a rainbow sphere in the sky in front. This type of portrayal is reminiscent of the images of yoga postures and visualization techniques found in the murals on the top floor of the Lukang (Naga House) behind the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet.

At the bottom right are the two dancing skeletons, special protectors of the Sakya Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, called Shri Shmashana Adipati (Chitipati). This painting belongs to a much larger set of unknown number, likely between thirty or forty in number.

Jeff Watt 2-2008

Front of Painting
English Translation of Inscription: [Name inscriptions for each figure]

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Subject: Hats (Flat Folded Pandita Hat)
Tradition: Sakya Teachers
Subject: Eye Coverings
Subject: Ngor Tradition (Teachers)