Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Teacher (Lama) - Jamgon Kongtrul

བླ་མ། 喇嘛
(item no. 799)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1900 - 1959
Lineages Karma (Kagyu)
Size 84.46x48.90cm (33.25x19.25in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# P1998.32.6
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Appearance: Monastic

Gender: Male

TBRC: bdr:P264

Interpretation / Description

Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye (1813-1899): a central pillar of the Rime movement of 19th century Eastern Tibet.

Jamgon Kongtrul Biographical Details

Having an elderly appearance, grey hair and a lined face, he gazes to the side. The two hands are placed at the heart in the mudra (gesture) of Dharma Teaching - symbolizing an eight-spoked wheel. Held in the fingers of both hands are the stems of two lotus flowers blossoming above each shoulder. The right supports an upright blue sword of wisdom atop a Prajnaparamita book and on the left a golden vase. The two feet are placed in vajra posture with the right over left. Attired in the orange and red robes of a monk, atop the head is a red pandita hat with draping lappets, adorned with three horizontal lines indicating the accomplishment of the three baskets of Buddhist learning - the Tripitaka. On a brocade cushion, he is seated above a low throne with an elaborate dragon head backrest adorned with wishing jewels. Billowing blue and white clouds, green foliage and flower blossoms frame the back. A lone tree stands at the top left and a mountain landscape rises at the right side. The table in front supports a damaru hand drum, vajra, bell and a gold bowl. A flower vase sits at the lower left and a rock bench in the foreground displays neat rows of jewels and precious objects.

Jamgon Kongtrul was originally a monk of the Nyingmapa Shechen Monastery and later associated with Palpung Monastery of the Tai Situ Panchens. Amongst his numerous teachers was the 14th Karmapa Thegchog Dorje. He was also involved in recognising and instructing the 15th Karmapa Kakyab Dorje. Along with his main teacher Jamyang Kyentse Wangpo (1820-1892), he was fundamentally involved with the Rime (eclectic) movement of the 19th century, begun in the Kham province of Eastern Tibet.

Jeff Watt 6-99

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