Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Teacher (Lama) - Karmapa 2, Karma Pakshi

བླ་མ། 喇嘛
(item no. 674)
Origin Location Eastern Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Karma (Kagyu)
Size 85.09x63.50cm (33.50x25in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Shelley & Donald Rubin
Catalogue # acc.# P1998.7.2
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Appearance: Monastic

Gender: Male

TBRC: P1487

Interpretation / Description

Karma Pakshi, the 2nd Karmapa (1206-1283): teacher to the Mongol emperor of China and the first publicly acknowledged incarnate lama of Tibet.

Kar ma pa Biographical Details

Powerful and contented, gazing forward he is adorned with a short black goatee. Both arms are extended with the hands resting across the knees in the mudra of earth witness. Atop the head is the small black vajra crown, a gift of the dakinis, invisible to those not spiritually developed. Wearing the orange and red patchwork robes of a fully ordained monk he is further covered with a red meditation cloak. With the legs folded in vajra posture, right over left, he sits above an ornate cushioned throne decorated with a backrest of carved dragons before an idyllic landscaped scene of various trees, rolling hills and cascading streams. A low table in front supports personal items - a water flask, teacup and various bowls.

At the upper left two lamas in monastic robes lend a sense of stillness to the calm scene and are likely the teachers of Karma Pakshi. At the lower left a lone monk stands with the hands folded in the gesture of respect while a seated Mongol layman presents rich gifts of bolts of fabric, jewels, red coral and a mandala offering on a gold plate.

At the top right is the wrathful activity deity, Hayagriva, red in colour with one face and two hands. On the crown is a small horse head. The right hand holds an upraised skull stick and the left a skullcup to the heart. At the bottom right is the wrathful protector Shri Devi (Tibetan: pal den lha mo), dark blue, with one face and four hands holding a skullcup and kila in the first pair and a sword and spear in the upraised second pair. Riding atop a brown mule in an ocean of blood she is surrounded by dark smoke and licks of red flame.

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Tradition: Kagyu Teachers (Paintings)
Painting Set: Karma Kagyu Lineage (Set 12)
Teacher: Karmapa, Karma Pakshi Main Page
Collection of Shelley & Donald Rubin
Painting Set: Karma Kagyu Lineage (Sertreng, misc.)
Incarnation Lineage: Gyalwa Karmapa Main Page