Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Teacher (Lama) - Tsongkapa

བླ་མ། 喇嘛
(item no. 90737)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Gelug
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Tibet House, New York
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Appearance: Monastic

Gender: Male

TBRC: bdr:P64

Interpretation / Description

Tsongkapa, Lord (1357-1419): founder of the Gelug School of Tibetan Buddhism. The depiction of the throne of Tsongkapa held up by four devas (gods) indicates that this painting is from a set of five compositions based on a vision of Kedrub Geleg Pal Zangpo. (See Five Forms of Tsongkapa).

Tsongkapa Biographical Details

Smiling affectionately, youthful and composed, he places the two hands in the mudra (gesture) of Dharma teaching while holding the stems of two lotus flowers blossoming above the shoulders. The flower on the right supports a sword of wisdom and on the left the Prajnaparamita folio book. Crowned with a yellow pandita hat, pointed at the tip, the lappets drape across the shoulders. Wearing the orange and yellow patchwork robes of a fully ordained monk, the right arm remains bare. The legs are folded right over left in the posture of vajrasana, seated above a moon disc, pink lotus blossom and lion supported throne. A blue-orange nimbus and dark green areola completely encircle. Four playful figures wearing the garb of the laity cavort at the base of the throne.

Jeff Watt 2-2000

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Tradition: Gelug Teachers (Paintings)
Collection of Tibet House: New York (Repatriation)
Teacher: Tsongkhapa Main Page
Collection of Tibet House, NY (Teachers)