Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Teacher (Lama) - Shamarpa 2, Kacho Wangpo

བླ་མ། 喇嘛
(item no. 961)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Kagyu, Karma (Kagyu) and Buddhist
Size 67.31x40.01cm (26.50x15.75in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# P2000.3.12
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Appearance: Monastic

Gender: Male

TBRC: bdr:P1413

Interpretation / Description

Kacho Wangpo (1350-1405), 2nd Shamar incarnation of the Kamtsangpa Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.

At the center of the composition is Kacho Wangpo seated in a relaxed manner with the the right leg raised and placed across the knee of the left leg extended down to the ground resting on a small rock - serving as a footrest. Wearing the robes of a fully ordained monk he places the right hand holding the knee in place and with the left he cradles a Tibetan folio text in the lap. On top of the head he wears the typical red hat of the Shamar incarnation lineage - a copy of the black hat of the Karmapa. On the viewer's left is a golden incense pot placed on a rock that has the shape of a small side table.

The subject of this painting visually relates a narrative about the 2nd Shamar Kacho Wangpo who traveled to a group of eight mountains (or peaks), Namlha Gye Kang Gi Rawa, accompanied by two attendant students. At the foot of the mountains Shamar performed a 'khandro chitor' offering followed by a 'sang' smoke offering ritual. At the time he spontaneously composed a new liturgy for offering - still used today. Tseringma, a mountain goddess and Buddhist protector with a long history of close relations with the Karma Kagyu Tradition was pleased with the offering and appeared to the three - lama and students.

Above the head of Shamar Rinpoche, three rays of emanated light, rainbow-like, twisting upward, spread from smaller to larger, bottom to top, indicating the inspiration in the composition of the new liturgical text of the Khandro chitor. The five rainbow ribbons frame Manjushri, seated, orange in colour, with the two hands at the heart holding the stems of two flowers supporting a sword and book - attributes of scholarship and wisdom.

The basic compositional form of the central figure and some details have also been borrowed by at least one other artist and used to depict the Tai Situpa. (See a comparison with painting HAR #51885. Note the divot in the hat generally a characteristic unique to the Tai Situpas. See a selection of Shamar hats).

Jeff Watt 3-2011

Reverse of Painting
Special Features: (includes "Om Ah Hum" inscription)

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 9
Tradition: Karma Kagyu Main Page
Painting Style: Karma Gardri (Late Paintings & Copies)
Incarnation Lineage: Shamarpa Main Page
Painting Set: Karma Kagyu Lineage (Sertreng, misc.)
Teacher: Shamar 2nd, Kacho Wangpo
Painting Style: Palpung - Teachers & Siddhas