Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Mandala of Chakrasamvara (Buddhist Deity)

འཁོར་ལོ་བདེ་མཆོག། ནང་ལྷ། 勝樂金剛 (全图)
(item no. 97)
Origin Location Central Tibet
Date Range 1400 - 1499
Lineages Sakya and Buddhist
Size 67.31x55.88cm (26.50x22in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment, Fine Gold Line on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# P1994.22.1
Painting School Sakya Palace
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Chakrasamvara Sixty-two Deity Mandala (Tibetan: khor lo de chog lha drug chu tsa nyi pa'i kyil kor) from the tradition of the mahasiddha Luipa.

Tibetan: Khor lo dem chog

Within the center of the two-dimensional circular diagram (mandala) representing the top view of a three-dimensional celestial palace and surroundings is the tutelary deity Chakrasamvara, blue-black in colour, with four faces and twelve hands. In the first pair of hands are a vajra and bell crossed at the heart embracing the consort red Vajrayogini, surrounded by the flames of pristine awareness. Radiating outward are five circles of variously coloured retinue figures.

At the top center is the primordial buddha Vajradhara, blue in colour with Vajrayogini, red, standing to the left. Further along both sides are the Indian and Tibetan lineage gurus.

The circle at the upper left is the Hevajra Mandala; below that is Ratnasambhava-Chakrasamvara. The circle at the upper right is the Rakta Yamari Manadala. Below that is Amitabha-Chakrasamvara and below that a small figure of Sahaja Kalachakra. The large figure at the lower right is Ekavira Vajra Bhairava, drawn in the Gelugpa style, with green Vajravidarana above and Amoghasiddhi-Chakrasamvara to the left, again with a small Shri Devi to that left. The large figure at the lower left is Akshobhyavajra Guhyasamaja with Arapachana Manjushri above, Vairochana-Chakrasamavara to the right, and a small Panjarnata Mahakala to the right of that.

At the bottom left, the small seated figure in the attire of a monk is possibly the sponsor for the painting. To the right is the wealth deity Jambhala, yellow, with one face and two hands. Again to the right is Chaturbhuja Mahakala, black, with one face and four hands - the special protector of the Chakrasamvara Tantras. Further arranged along the bottom are the special Protector Goddesses.

The painting style, heavily influenced by Nepali aesthetics and a strong penchant for red, is typical of older Sakya and Ngorpa 'tangkas' and wall murals.

Jeff Watt 4-98

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

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Mandala: Main Page
Tradition: Gelug Deity Paintings
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery VI
Tradition: Sakya Deity Paintings
Painting Style: Tibet (Balri)
Mandalas: Sakya Tradition
Tradition: Gelug Mandalas
Mandalas: Gelug Tradition
Buddhist Deity: Chakrasamvara Mandala (Early Works)
Buddhist Deity: Chakrasamvara (Luipa Tradition)
Buddhist Deity: Chakrasamvara Mandala
Tradition: Gelug Tradition Main Page
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Mandala