Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Indian Adept (siddha) - Ravigupta

རྒྱ་གར་གྱི་གྲུབ་ཆེན། 印度大成就者
(item no. 68)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Buddhist
Size 55.88x36.83cm (22x14.50in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# P1994.8.10
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

TBRC: P7048

Interpretation / Description

Ravigupta/Suryagupta (Tibetan: nyi ma be pa): from the set of Eighty-four Mahasiddhas according to the text and list of the Indian scholar Vajrasana of Bodhgaya (11th century). He was a layperson from Kashmir that was cured of leprosy by a miraculous statue of the goddess Tara. Ravigupta is famous for having many visions of Tara and originating many lineages of her practice such as the Twenty-one forms of Tara, Vajra Tara, Seventeen Deity Tara practice, etc.

Jeff Watt 9-2002


Blue Annals Contents | Blue Annals Outline

Extracted from the Blue Annals (part 14, chapter 11, pages 672-673) of Go Lotsawa Zhonnu Pal (1392-1481) using the digitized text of THDL.

The Cycle of the Tārā transmitted by Ravigupta (nyi ma sbas pa).

It is said that in the country of Kashmira there had been an image of the Ta'u Tārā endowed with miraculous powers (siddhi) in the Temple of rang byung lha lnga, lepers after worshiping the image were cured of their ailment.

About that time the acharya Ravigupta (nyi ma sbas pa), who was learned in the five sciences and especially in the Tantra, was attacked by leprosy (klu'i gnod pa). He built a hut for himself to the west of the vihara, and prayed for three months. Then the {R1051} temple's gate moved (by itself) westwards, and the Tārā said: What is your wish? and the acharya replied: I wish to be cured of leprosy. In that very moment his entire body, except for a small sore on his forehead, assumed its former appearance. He asked: What was the reason for not curing the sore on the forehead? The Tārā replied Formerly you were born as a hunter, killed animals and in the end set fire to a forest. In consequence of this, yon were reborn in Hell and this is your last rebirth of the 500 rebirths in Hell, and saying so, she bestowed on him the sadhana, accompanied by a stotra. The Tara said with their help, one may perform any kind of magic rite. I shall grant you miraculous powers (siddhi).

After that the acharya composed a magic rite which corresponded to the twenty one sādhanas, as well as general rites and their branches. He taught it to Chandragarbha. The latter to Jetari. The latter to Vāgiśhvara (Ngaggi dbang phyug). The latter to Śhraḍhākara. The latter to Tathāgata Rakshita. The latter to Dānaśhila, who bestowed it on Mal gyo lo tsa ba. In the translation by Mal gyo the sādhanas and the magic rites were arranged in separate sections, but in the translation by the Khro phu lo tsa ba the magic rites were added in the end of each of the propitiation rites. {(20b)}

Its Lineage: Tārā, Ānanda (Kun dga' bo), the arhat Madhyantika (dgra bcom ri ma gun pa), Krrssnnavāsinn (Kṛśṇa'i gos can), the Kashmirian Ravigupta (Kha che nyi ma sbas pa), Rāhulaśrī, Vindaśrī, panchen sakyaśrī(bhadra). The latter bestowed it on khrophu lo tsa ba, bla chen bsod dbang, rin po che pa, tshad ma'i skyes bu and bu rin po che. mal gyo preached it to sa chen. The latter to rtse mo. The latter to the Venerable One (rjebtsun), who composed many {R1052} text books on the system, and taught it to 'chims chos seng, the Dharmasvimin 'jam gsar, rong pa rgwa lo, shes rab seng ge, dpal ldan seng ge, the bla ma dam pa bsod nams rgyal mtshan, the mahāupādhyāya shes rdor pa, chos sgo ba choskyi rgya mtshan, and rgod phrug grags pa 'byung gnas. I obtained it from the latter.

In general, the cycle of the Tārā (transmitted) through different Lineages filled Tibet.

The Chapter on miscellaneous doctrines.

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Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 6
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Painting Style: Men-ri (New)
Indian Adept: Suryagupta/Ravigupta