Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Padmasambhava - Guru Dragpur (meditational form)

པད་མ་འབྱུང་གནས། 莲花生大士
(item no. 89174)
Origin Location Bhutan
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Drukpa (Kagyu) and Buddhist
Size 73x56cm (28.74x22.05in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Wrathful

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Guru Dragpur (English: Wrathful Teacher of the Peg): fierce form of Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava discovered as a Revealed Treasure Teaching (Tibetan: ter ma) by Drugchen Padma Karpo (1527-1592).

Very wrathful in appearance, red in colour, with one face and three round eyes, he has a gaping mouth with bared fangs and flaming hair rising upward. The right hand held aloft firmly grasps a gold vajra sceptre and the left a black scorpion - both arms extended to the sides. Adorned with a crown of five skulls, gold earrings, bracelets, necklaces and a snake garland, he wears a string of human heads. An elephant hide covers the shoulders with a tiger skin wrapped about the waist. Without legs, the lower body is composed of a large black kila (Tibetan: phur ba), three edged peg, extending downward from the gaping mouth of a makara sea creature. Standing on a triangular base adorned with skulls, above a sun disc and multi-coloured lotus blossom, he is surrounded by the swirling red flames of pristine awareness.

At the top center is Amitabha, the buddha of boundless light, red in colour, with the hands in the gesture (mudra) of meditation in the lap. At the left is Shadakshari Chaturbhuja Avalokiteshvara, white with one face and four hands. At the right is Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava, holding a vajra to the heart and a white skullcup in the lap, wearing red and yellow robes and a red lotus hat. Each figure sits above a moon disc and pink lotus blossom. Three Buddhist teachers sit below.

Descending at the top left side are the wrathful yellow Achala, blue Niladanda Vijaya, blue Amrita Kundalin, blue Mahabala, blue Vajrapani, and Vighnantaka. To the right is red Vajravarahi. Descending at the top right side are red Hayagriva, blue Yamantaka, Trailokyavijaya, Ushnishadharin, Chakravartin, and red Krodha Rakta. To the left is blue Takkiraja. Each of these figures has one face and two hands, wrathful in appearance and holds each their own special attribute in the right hand. All are blue except where specified.

At the bottom center is the wrathful maroon coloured protector Yaksha Mebal. At the lower left is the blue raven-headed, Kakamukha, Mahakala. At the lower right is a wrathful attendant figure.

Jeff Watt 6-2006

Tibetan Painting by Hugo E. Kreijger (list of image plates)

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Region: Bhutan, Main Page
Buddhist Deity: Red Wrathful Appearance (Male)
Padmasambhava: Guru Dragpur Main Page
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Bhutan
Region: Bhutan, Deities
Tradition: Drugpa Kagyu Main Page
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 4
Collection of Jucker (Tibetan Art)
Buddhist Deity: Red Wrathful Appearance