Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Shakyamuni Buddha - Shakyamuni

ཤཱཀྱ་ཐུབ་པ། 释迦牟尼佛
(item no. 86)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Gelug
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# F1997.6.4
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Appearance: Buddha

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Shakyamuni Buddha (Tibetan: sha kya tu pa, sang gye. English: the Enlightened One, Sage of the Shakya Clan) together with various buddhas, bodhisattvas, deities and Lama Tsongkapa seated above.

Sanskrit: Buddha Shakyamuni Tibetan: Sang gye sha kya tu pa

With a smiling expression he gazes forward. The blue-black hair of the head is piled in a topknot. The right hand is extended across the knee in the earth witness mudra (gesture) and the left is placed in the lap holding a black begging bowl. The shoulders and lower torso are wrapped with an orange patchwork robe decorated with gold design. The two legs are folded in vajra posture above a multi-coloured lotus seat and a nimbus and areola surround the body. Slightly below are two buddha figures in the same appearance. The hands are held at the heart performing the teaching mudra.

At the top center is the founder of the Gelugpa School, Lama Tsongkapa. At the right are the bodhisattvas Manjushri, holding a sword upraised and Green Tara with the right hand in the mudra of generosity. At the left is Chaturbhuja Avalokiteshvara with four hands and what appears to be White Tara with a blue tint. At the middle left is the wrathful form of the bodhisattva Vajrapani holding aloft a gold vajra in the right hand. At the right side is the tutelary deity wrathful Vajrabhairava in heruka form with a buffalo head.

At the bottom center is Secret Accomplishment Hayagriva, and at the left the Direction King of the North, Vaishravana, riding a snow lion. At the right side is a worldly protector-wealth deity with one face and two hands, red in colour, he holds upraised a hook in the right hand and a mongoose in the left; riding atop a goat and surrounded by flames.

Jeff Watt 9-99

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Shakyamuni Buddha: Main Page
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 2