Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Padmasambhava - 8 Forms: Dorje Drolo

པད་མ་འབྱུང་གནས། 莲花生大士
(item no. 731)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1900 - 1959
Lineages Nyingma
Size 78.74x54.61cm (31x21.50in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# P1998.22.4
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Wrathful

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Dorje Drollo: wrathful emanation of Guru Rinpoche from the set of Eight Main Manifestations.

Terrifying in appearance, dark red in colour (maroon), he has one face with a moustache and beard, three round staring eyes and curly dark hair. The upper fangs bite down on the lower lip. In the right hand held upraised is a gold vajra - ready to strike. The left hand extends outward a dark blue kila (Tibetan: phur ba, English: peg) made of meteorite iron. Adorned with gold earrings and a necklace of freshly severed heads he wears various coloured robes, blue and red, in the style of both a layman and a monk, along with ornate felt boots. With the right leg bent and left extended atop a fierce tigress - emanation of the consort Mandarava, while trampling two bodies beneath, he stands above a sun disc and orange lotus flower, surrounded by the bright orange flames of pristine awareness.

Completely surrounding the central image and filling the background and landscape are numerous figures of Indian mahasiddhas, most in the appearance of dark skinned yogis with the hair bound on the top of the head and attired in loincloths and bone ornaments.

"In the experience of great bliss fiercely blazing with wrathful power, maroon in colour, holding a vajra and kila, the two feet dancing expressively atop a tigress; homage to Dorje Drollo." (Nyingma Liturgical Verse).

For the purpose of subduing daemons and spirits of Tibet and the surrounding Himalayan regions Padmasambhava, at the thirteen mountain retreats each known as the Tiger's Den, appeared as the wrathful Dorje Trollo. The Eight Manifestations of Padmasambhava belong to the tradition of the Revealed Treasures (Tib.: ter ma).

Jeff Watt 1-99

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 8
Padmasambhava: Dorje Drolo Main Page
Padmasambhava: Eight Forms Main Page
Padmasambhava: Dorje Drolo (Eight Forms Sets)