Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Indian Adept (siddha) - Damarupa

རྒྱ་གར་གྱི་གྲུབ་ཆེན། 印度大成就者
(item no. 946)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1400 - 1499
Lineages Sakya, Ngor (Sakya) and Buddhist
Size 60.96x52.71cm (24x20.75in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Shelley & Donald Rubin
Catalogue # acc.# P2000.5.2
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Appearance: Mahasiddha

Gender: Male

TBRC: bdr:P3300

Interpretation / Description

Damarupa and Avadhutipa, Siddhas. On the left is the siddha Damarupa holding upraised in his right hand a damaru drum and a skullcup in the left. On the viewer's right is Avadhutipa holding a skullcup to the heart with the left hand and pointing downwards with the right hand.

This painting belongs to a set of Lamdre Lineage paintings of unknown number. (See a similar painting of the two siddha figures from another Lamdre Lineage painting set and a list of teacher in the principle (Sakya) Lamdre Lineage).

Between the two siddha figures at head level is a very small depiction of white Vajrasattva. Directly above that is Vairochana Hevajra, white in colour (see deity #10). At the left is the meditational deity Mahamaya and to the right is another meditational deity that is no longer recognizable because of excessive restoration.

At the top center is the primordial Buddha Vajradhara, blue in colour with one face and two hands. To the left is the goddess/female buddha Tara. Alternating from right to left is a lineage of teachers in chronological order relating to a specific (but currently unknown Tara practice). The list of teachers presented here, so far, does not conform to the Nyen Lotsawa Tradition or the Suryagupta (aka Ravigupta) and his Seventeen Deity Tara Mandala Tradition. There are many other lineages of Tara practice in the Sakya School, so therefore, it is only a matter of time and research before identifying the lineage represented here.

Along the bottom of the composition are ten Devi/goddess figures, each with one face and two hands, in assorted colours. So far, these ten figures do not correspond to any devi groups within the Hevajra system. It is also worth noting that these figures do not appear to be holding anything in their upraised right hand or in the left hand.

Above the bottom register on the left side are two deity figures. The first is blue Achala in a kneeling posture and the one above appears to have been at one time a black Jambhala however a green consort has been added - possibly by contemporary art restorers in the last 20 years. Both figures are not correct according to Tantric Buddhist iconography. On the right side above the row of goddesses is a white Achala in a kneeling posture and above that, possibly, a blue Humkara. Both figures have been heavily restored and re-worked and these two are also not iconographically correct. Held in the proper left hand of the White Achala note the vajra scepter incorrectly drawn in to replace the missing vajra lasso. In Achala's upraised right hand there is no attribute/object held in the hand where properly a flaming wisdom sword should be held.

It is also worth noting that on the back of the painting each figure has been marked, according to placement, with the syllables of blessing at the locations representing the the body speech and mind of each figure: forehead (body) - om, throat (speech) - ah, heart (mind) - hum. The figures in the lower portion of the front of the painting do not correspond in placement, or number, to the written syllables on the back of the painting. However the placement of the figures in the top registers of the composition do conform to the placement of the syllables on the back of the painting.

Jeff Watt 11-2000 [updated 6-2010]

A. Damarupa
B. Avadhutipa
C. Vairochana Hevajra
D. Vajrasattva, Solitary Form
E. Mahamaya
F. Unknown deity figure (?)
G. Figure of Dedication (deceased)

Lineage of Teachers:
1. Vajradhara
2. Tara, Green
3. Indian Teacher
4. Indian Teacher
5. Amoghavajra (?), Indian Teacher
6. Drogmi (in the appearance of an Indian Teacher)
7. Tibetan Teacher
8. Tibetan Teacher
9. Sachen Kunga Nyingpo
10. Sonam Tsemo
11. Dragpa Gyaltsen
12. Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyaltsen
13. Chogyal Pagpa
14. Konchog Pal
15. Dragpugpa
16. Lama Dampa
17. Palden Tsultrim
18. (No inscription)
19. Kunga Zangpo (1382-1456)
20. Jambhala, Black (?)
21. Humkara (?)
22. Achala, Blue
23. Achala, White
24. Devi, yellow
25. Devi, white
26. Devi, yellow
27. Devi, blue
28. Devi, yellow
29. Devi, yellow
30. Devi, blue
31. Devi, maroon
32. Devi, white
33. Devi, blue

Front of Painting
English Translation of Inscription: [Many of the figures have name inscriptions written in gold lettering above each figure]

Reverse of Painting
Special Features: (Printed script (Uchen), includes "Om Ah Hum" inscription)

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Subject: Margapala Lineage Paintings (Sakya)
Indian Adept Main Page (Mahasiddha)
Indian Adept: Damarupa Page
Indian Adept: Avadhutipa Page
Painting Set: Lamdre Mahasiddhas
Subject: Margapala Sets (Two Figures)
Painting Set: Margapala (Miscellaneous)
Collection of Shelley & Donald Rubin
Subject: Caricature Art
Indian Adept (Mahasiddha): Painting (Middle Period 15th-16th)
Indian Adept: Damarupa & Avadhutipa (Paired Figures)