Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Padmasambhava - Guru Dragpo (meditational form)

པད་མ་འབྱུང་གནས། 莲花生大士
(item no. 9)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1900 - 1959
Lineages Nyingma
Size 64.14x49.53cm (25.25x19.50in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment, Fine Gold Line, Black Background on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# P1994.5.1
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Wrathful

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Guru Dragpo, (English: Wrathful Teacher) wrathful Padmasambhava with consort, from the Terma (Revealed Treasure) Lineage of Nyang Ral Nyima Ozer (1124-1192).

Fierce in appearance and red in colour he has one face, three round bulbous eyes, a gaping mouth with bared fangs and yellow hair flowing upward. The two hands hold a gold vajra upraised in the right and a black kila, three-edged dagger, extended to the left side, along with a blue scorpion. Adorned with a crown of skulls, gold earrings, bracelets and necklaces, he wears a garland of heads and a human skin draped across the shoulders. The lower body is attired in a tiger skin. The wrathful blue consort embraces the Lord with the left leg while holding aloft a white skullcup. Atop a seat of two figures lying in opposite directions, a sun disc and multi-coloured lotus blossom they stand surrounded by the swirling yellow flames of pristine awareness. A Garuda bird soars at the apex of the flames.

Eight attendant deities, 4 wrathful males and 4 peaceful females, surround the central figures. At the middle left is wrathful Yamari, yellow, with one face and two hands, the arms outstretched holding objects specific to his activity. Standing atop a corpse, sun and lotus seat he is surrounded by wisdom flames. At the right is wrathful Hayagriva, red, and in the same general appearance. At the lower left is wrathful blue Vajrapani. At the right is wrathful maroon Jvalaketu. All four have three eyes and gaping mouths, wrathful vestments such as a garland of skulls, human, elephant and tiger skin garments, adorned with bone ornaments. (Names in gold lettering beneath each figure). Between the wrathful male figures are the 4 peaceful dancing goddesses, yellow, white, red and green. Each has one face and two hands, holding aloft a curved knife with the right and a skullcup with left. A katvanga staff leans against the left shoulder. They stand on the left leg with the right drawn up above a sun disc and lotus flower.

At the top center is the buddha Amitabha, red in colour, with the hands in the mudra of meditation. At the left is Avalokiteshvara, white with one face and two hands. The right in the mudra of generosity and the left in the mudra of blessing at the heart holds the stem of a white lotus flower blossoming at the left ear; seated in a relaxed posture. At the right is Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava, holding a gold vajra to the heart and a skullcup and vase in the lap, richly attired in variously coloured robes and a lotus hat. A katvanga staff leans against the left shoulder.

At the top left are five lamas, in descending order they are Vairochana, Terchen Ngadag Nyang Ral, Rinchen Namgyal, Tendzin Chogyal and Kongtrul Lodro Taye (1813-1899). At the top right are Yeshe Tsogyal - consort to Padmasambhava, Padma Gyurme Gyatso, Lochen Dhamashri (1654-1717), Thutob Namgyal and Rabjam (1864-1909). (Abbreviated names in gold lettering beneath each figure).

At the bottom are three protector figures. At the left is a Tsen daemon, red, wrathful, holding a sword aloft with the right hand and a spear in the left; riding a light brown horse. At the center is a wrathful Dre Du daemon, blue, holding a bow and arrow in the upraised right hand and a lasso in the left; riding a black horse. At the right is a blue Naga, feminine in appearance, holding aloft a gold snake in the right hand and a bag of disease in the left; riding a blue horse. All three are well adorned with ornaments and garments of various colours; surrounded by swirling black smoke. (Names in gold lettering beneath each figure).

Jeff Watt 3-99

Front of Painting
Wylie Transliteration of Inscription: Bai ro, gter chen, rin chen rnam rgyal, bstan 'dzin cho rgyal, rkang sprul. Mtsho rgyal, padma gyur med rga mtsho, lo chen, mthu stobs rnam rgyal, rab 'byams. Gshin je, rta mgrin, phag rdor, me dbal. Btsan, dre dud, klu.

Secondary Images
Related Items
Exhibition Appearances
Exhibition: Padmasambhava, the Second Buddha

Thematic Sets
Subject: Lineage Paintings - Alternating
Padmasambhava: Guru Dragpo (Masterworks)
Painting Style: Regional
Buddhist Deity: Red Wrathful Appearance
Subject: Object Writeup (Painting)
Painting Type: Black Ground Main Page
Painting Type: Black Ground (Eastern Tibet, Kham)
Teacher: Nyangral Nyima Ozer (Related Subjects)
Buddhist Deity: Red Wrathful Appearance (Male)
Tradition: Nyingma Tradition Main Page
Subject: Inscriptions Main Page (Painting)
Padmasambhava: Guru Dragpo Main Page
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 5
Painting Type: Black Ground Masterworks
Padmasambhava: Meditational Forms
Padmasambhava: Guru Dragpo Iconography
Collection of RMA: Painting Masterworks Page
Collection of RMA: Black Ground Masterworks
Padmasambhava: Guru Dragpo (With Consort)