Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Ushnishavijaya (Buddhist Deity)

གཙུག་གཏོར་རྣམ་པར་རྒྱལ་མ། ཚེ་ལྷ། 尊圣佛母(本尊)
(item no. 663)
Origin Location Western Tibet
Date Range 1400 - 1499
Lineages Sakya and Gelug
Size 50.80x47.63cm (20x18.75in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# F1998.17.1
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Ushnishavijaya (Tibetan: tsug tor nam par gyal ma): goddess of long-life, white in colour, with three faces and eight hands, seated inside a stupa.

"Ushnishavijaya, the colour of an autumn moon; with three faces, white, yellow and blue and eight hands. Each face has three very large eyes. The first right hand holds a visvavajra, second a white lotus with Amitabha residing, third an arrow and the fourth in supreme generosity. The first left holds a vajra lasso, second a bow, third bestowing protection and fourth in meditative equipoise holding an auspicious nectar vase; complete with silks and jewel ornaments, seated in [vajra] posture. Within the outer circle of the stupa, on the right [side of the chaitya], above a moon is Avalokiteshvara with a body white in colour; the left hand holds a lotus. On the left [of the chaitya], above a sun is Vajrapani, blue; the left hand holds an utpala with vajra; standing in a peaceful manner and adorned with silks and jewels." (Jamyang Kyentse Wangpo, 1820-1892).

Along the top from the left are Green Tara, Medicine Guru Buddha, Ratnasambhava, Akshobhya, Amitabha, Amoghasiddhi, Nirmanakaya Akshobhya and White Tara. The Buddha Vairochana sits in front of the spire of the chaitya directly above the head of Ushnishavijaya.

Descending at the right and left sides are two different sets of the Pancha Raksha Goddesses. At the lower sides are various deities such as Hayagriva and Parnashavari, with the Four Guardians of the Directions at the bottom left and right. Alongside the throne at the left is Shadbhuja Mahakala with Shri Devi Magzor Gyalmo below. At the right is Yama Dharmaraja with Panjara Mahakala of the Nagarjuna lineage below.

(Please note that the bottom register of the painting, due to damage of an unknown nature and severity, had been removed prior to the RMA acquisition. Before photos prior to the removal of the register, conservation and restoration are not currently available).

Jeff Watt 2-2001

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

Thematic Sets
Subject: Purification Deities Page
Painting: Repairs, Holes, Missing & Added Registers
Buddhist Deity: Ushnishavijaya (Masterworks)
Buddhist Deity: Long-Life Deities
Tradition: Gelug Deity Paintings
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 3
Painting Style: Western Tibetan
Painting Style: Tibet (Balri)
Buddhist Deity: Ushnishavijaya Main Page
Buddhist Deity: Deities (Female)
Subject: Three Long-life Deities
Painting Style: Gyantse Scroll Paintings