Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Avalokiteshvara (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity) - Jinasagara (Ocean of Conquerors, Four Arms)

སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས། 观音菩萨
(item no. 790)
Origin Location Eastern Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Nyingma and Karma (Kagyu)
Size 49.53x30.48cm (19.50x12in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# P1998.30.3
Painting School Palpung / Situ
Notes about the Central Figure

Alternate Names: Lokeshvara Avalokita Lokanata Lokanatha Mahakarunika

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Peaceful

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Red Avalokiteshvara, Ocean of Conquerors (Tibetan: chen re zi gyal wa gya tso. Sanskrit: Avalokiteshvara Jinasagara): a special meditational deity of the Karma Kagyu (Kamtsangpa) School, known as the Five Deity Jinasagara, originating from the 'Revealed Treasure' tradition of the Nyingma School. The main deity is (1) Jinasagara, (2) Hayagriva, (3) Guhya Jnana Dakini, (4) Padmasambhava and (5) Bernagchen Mahakala who is depicted at the bottom of the composition. There are many different forms of Jinasagara along with mandalas of varying size and numbers of retinue figures. (See HAR #696).

Peaceful in appearance with eyes semi-closed, Jinasagara Avalokiteshvara holds a blue wish-fulfilling jewel in the clasped hands at the heart. Held in the second pair is a jewel mala of beads in the right and a red jewel lotus in the left. Adorned with a gold crown, earrings, necklaces and bracelets, he wears a krishnasara deerskin over the left shoulder, a green scarf and lower garments of orange and blue. With the legs crossed, right over left, in vajra posture he sits atop a white moon disc and multi-coloured lotus blossom surrounded by radiant spheres of light. In front as offerings, precious jewels of various colours, red coral, conch shells and the like, are arranged in a row.

Above is Padmasambhava in a mahasiddha appearance, brown in colour with the arms extended to the sides and the hands open, wearing a skull crown and long black hair, bone ornaments and a tiger skin skirt; standing in a dancing posture. Above is the buddha Amitabha, Lord of the Lotus Family, red, with one face and two hands holding a black begging bowl in the lap, wreathed by ribbons of rainbow light.

At the middle left is Hayagriva, wrathful, red with one face and two hands, a green horse head on the crown. With yellow hair flowing upward, three eyes and wrathful vestments, the right holds aloft a damaru drum and left a bell turned up at the hip; standing with the right leg bent and left straight surrounded by raging flames of wisdom fire.

At the middle right is Guhya Jnana Dakini, orange-red in colour, with one face and four hands, wrathful in appearance, three eyes, upward flowing hair, bone ornaments and a garland of skulls. Held in the first pair of hands is a curved knife and skullcup to the heart; the second, a sword in the right and a katvanga staff in the left, both upraised. Standing on the left leg in a dancing posture she is surrounded by the flames of pristine awareness.

At the top left is a Karmapa, in the posture of Dudul Dorje (1733-1797), with the right hand at the heart holding the stem of a pink lotus blossom, left extended across the knee in the mudra (gesture) of generosity. Wearing the robes of a monk and black vajra crown characteristic of the Karmapas, he sits on a square red mat. At the right is Situ Rinpoche with the right hand held across the knee and the left holding a book in the lap, attired in the robes of a monk and a red hat indicating a regent of the Gyalwa Karmapas.

At the bottom center is the special protector of the Kamtsangpa School, Black-Cloak Mahakala (Tib.: ber nag chen), wrathful, dark blue, holding upraised a curved knife in the right hand and a skullcup held to the heart in the left. Wearing a long black cloak over a green garment and tiger skin skirt he stands surrounded by orange flames. At the left is Shri Devi (Tib.: pal den lha mo) Mahakali, dark blue, with one face and four arms. The right hands hold a trident and kila dagger, the left a mirror upraised and a wrathful gesture. Fiercely wrathful with three eyes, orange upward flowing hair, wrathful vestments and a black cloak, she rides atop a dark green mule surrounded by smoke and flame. At the left is the wrathful avowed protector Damchen Garwa'i Nagpo, the Blacksmith. Dark blue in colour with one face and two hands; held upraised in the right is a hammer and outstretched in the left a tiger skin bellows. Adorned with wrathful vestments, a long black cloak, green garment and boots, he rides atop a brown goat surrounded by billowing smoke.

Lineage: Dharmakaya Amitabha, Sambhogakaya Avalokiteshvara, Nirmanakaya Padmasambhava, Machig Drupa'i Gyalmo (Siddhirajni), Tebu Drime Shenyen, Rechung Dorje Drag, Lama Zangri Repa, Drogon Repa Chenpo, Gyalse Punya Vajra, Drupchen Karma Pakshi - the 2nd Karmapa, etc.

Numbered List:
1. Jinasagara
2. Hayagriva
3. Guhya Dakini
4. Padmasambhava
5. Amitabha Buddha
6. Karmapa
7. Tai Situpa
8. Bernagchen Mahakala
9. Shri Devi
10. Damchen Garwa Nagpo

Jeff Watt 5-99

Secondary Images
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Buddhist Deity: Avalokiteshvara, Jinasagara, Main Page
Tradition: Nyingma Deity Paintings
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 8
Buddhist Deity: Avalokiteshvara Main Page
Buddhist Deity: Avalokiteshvara, Jinasagara (Rechung)
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Painting Style: Palpung - Peaceful & Semi-Peaceful Deities
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Avalokita (Painting)