Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Rahula (Buddhist Protector)

སྒྲ་གཅན་འཛིན། སྲུང་མ། 罗护罗(护法)
(item no. 83447)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Nyingma and Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Rahula (Tibetan: kyab jug): wrathful protector of the Revealed Treasure Tradition.

Fiercely wrathful, black in colour, with nine heads, each face has three large eyes and a gaping mouth with exposed fangs. The first lower right face is green, left red and the central black, alternating upwards, the top central face is white. On the stomach is the large face of the original Rahula who devoured the nine celestial planets. The body is covered with numerous eyes. In the first pair of hands are a drawn bow and arrow. The second right holds aloft a makara stick and the left a snake lasso. Adorned with crowns of five skulls and gold earrings he wears a green scarf and various coloured lower garments. The lower body is that of a coiled naga serpent, dark blue in colour, rising out of a blood filled black triangle enclosure; surrounded by wisps of orange flames and blue smoke. In a skullcup in front is an offering of the five senses.

"From a fierce E [syllable] in a realm equal to space, the Lord arises out of wrathful activity, smoky, with nine heads, four hands and a thousand blazing eyes; homage to the Great Rahula - Protector of the Teachings." (Nyingma liturgical verse).

At the top center is wrathful Vajrapani, blue in colour, with one face and two hands.

To the right and left are eight attendant retinue figures the same in appearance as Rahula but with different hand attributes and different body colours.

Jeff Watt 3-2016

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