Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Begtse Chen (Buddhist Protector)

བེག་ཚེ་ལྕམ་སྲིང། སྲུང་མ། 大红司命 (又名战神)护法
(item no. 90746)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Gelug
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Tibet House, New York
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Begtse Chen (Sanskrit: Prana Atma. English: the Great Coat of Mail): protector for the Hayagriva cycle of tantric practice.

Tibetan: Begtse Chen

Fearsome in appearance, red in colour, he has a wide gaping mouth, three eyes, with a yellow beard, eyebrows and hair flowing upward like flame. The right hand holds upraised a sword tipped with flames. The left held up to the mouth clutches a fresh heart. In the bend of the elbow is a lance with a red pendant, a bow and arrow. The head is adorned with a crown of five dry skulls, earrings and around the neck a garland of freshly severed heads. The body is attired in the garb of a warrior, layered in garments of various colours, and fitted with brocade boots. The right leg is bent treading on a horse and the left straight atop a human figure, sun disc and pink lotus blossom, he is surrounded by swirling clouds of black smoke.

At the middle right is the consort with a red face and blue body, riding a bear. On the left is the son, appearing as a 'tsen' daemon warrior, riding a black wolf. Various wrathful attendant figures along with Rahula with nine faces and the mountain deity Machen Pomra occupy the foreground.

At the top center is a lama wearing monastic robes and a yellow meditation cloak. The right is raised in the mudra of blessing and the left placed in the lap. Wearing a yellow cap, he sits on a cushion seat, with the head encircled by a red aureola.

Jeff Watt 2-2000

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Buddhist Protectors: Enlightened
Collection of Tibet House: New York (Repatriation)
Buddhist Protector: Begtse Chen Main Page
Tradition: Gelug Protectors