Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Teacher (Lama) - Tsongkapa

བླ་མ། 喇嘛
(item no. 90)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Gelug
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Appearance: Monastic

Gender: Male

TBRC: bdr:P64

Interpretation / Description

Lord Tsongkapa, Lobzang Dragpa (1357-1419): founder of the Gelugpa Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.

Tsongkapa Biographical Details

In the appearance of a monastic scholar with a yellow/orange pandita hat and the orange patchwork robes of a fully ordained monk he performs with both hands the mudra of Dharma teaching at the heart while holding the stems of two blue utpala flowers blossoming at both ears supporting on the right a wisdom sword and at the left a book. With the two legs folded in vajra posture he sits upon a moon disc and multi-coloured lotus seat surrounded by a blue and orange spheres of light, completely surrounded by great white billowing clouds.

"From the heart of the Lord of the hundred gods of Tushita, on the peak of a cloud, bright white like a mound of fresh yogurt, Lord of Dharma, Omniscient Lobzang Dragpa, together with sons; please come here." (Gelugpa liturgical verse).

At the top center is Amitayus Buddha, red in colour, in the appearance of a peaceful deity. At the left side is the long life deity Ushnishavijaya, female, white, with three faces and eight arms. On the right side is the long life deity White Tara, female, with one face and two arms. All three are depicted as peaceful deities.

At the bottom center is Vaishravana Riding a Lion. On the left side is Yellow Jambhala. On the right side is a generic donor figure following the depictions of Khedrubje in worship, one of the disciples of Je Tsongkapa.

Jeff Watt 1-2013

The Splendor of an Autumn Moon. Tsongkhapa, trans. Gavin Kilty. Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2001.

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Collection: Private 1
Teacher: Tsongkhapa Main Page
Collection: Christie's, New York (Painting. March, 2016)