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A Rare Form of Padmasambhava

October 23, 2009 ·

Padmasambhava as Guru Dupung Zilnon (gu ru bdud dpung zil gnon) is possibly related to the Vajrakilaya practices of Jigme Lingpa called Purba Dupung Zilnon (phurba bdud dpung zil gnon). Note the unique form of the posture with the right hand holding a vajra extended outward to the side in a gesture of blessing above the heads of demons. The left hand holds a purba peg extended outward to the side and pointing downward subduing the demons below.

This extremely fine painting can be dated stylistically to the early 19th century and created in a Kham-dri style similar to the Khampa Gar painters of that time. It is not clear from the inscription on the back of the brocade (top), or the iconographic subject on the front, if the painting is a single composition or part of a related series (set) of paintings. Although one other painting with a different iconographic subject but the same stylistic elements, brush strokes and colour palette has been identified.

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Terton Choggyur Lingpa (1829-1870)

September 19, 2009 ·

Choggyur Lingpa was a Terton, treasure revealer, of the 19th century and descended from the hereditary Baram Kagyu line. He was also a contemporary and friend to both Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye and Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo. He discovered many 'termas' that are still popular within the Kagyu and Nyingma Traditions today.

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Four Milarepa Paintings

September 15, 2009 ·

There are four paintings that depict the Tibetan yogi Milarepa in a similar composition and posture. They are numbered one through four and arranged according to a possible chronology of oldest to youngest. All four figures have essentially the same posture, head and facial features, along with wardrobe and deerskin mat, seated above a rocky outcropping. Starting on the left, composition #1 states that it was "painted by the hand of Choggyur Lingpa." If the inscription is in fact accurate then it would likely have been painted sometime between the mid 1800s and 1870. The significant questions are, did Choggyur Lingpa copy a previous model for the form of Milarepa or did he create this composition from his own imagination? Was Choggyur Lingpa known as an artist as well as a Kagyu and Nyingma Terton - "Treasure Discoverer"? Does his biography mention or provide a list of the artworks he created? Paintings #1 and #2 are the closest in depiction, but it is obvious that all four are based on the same model.

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Are you researching a subject?

September 03, 2009 ·

Do you think a specific image needs to be greyscaled and numbered? Let us know. We only greyscale and give special attention to images we are working on. We would love to hear what you are working on. How can we help with your studies? Your interests may help us and help the field in general. There is a world of iconography, art history and religious studies out there, let us know.

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Image Server Problems

June 24, 2009 ·

Over the last month or so we have been having intermittent problems with the HAR image server. This is the software that creates the thumbnail images and allows for zooming and enlarging of those images. We believe that the problems have been identified and fixed for now. New monitoring software has been installed that will keep better track of all aspects of the HAR website. The software will automatically inform us when there are server shut downs and user requests that are not completed. At this time we are also changing and upgrading certain parts of the database architecture so as to improve the functionality of the site. For now most of these changes won't be seen by the users and mostly have to do with how information is accessed by the database. The changes will also allow the HAR team to catalogue large numbers of images more efficiently and most importantly - quickly.

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New Thematic Sets on HAR

May 11, 2009 ·

Hell, Subjects and Depictions:
Hell Beings Set I
Hell Beings Miscellaneous
Wheel of Life: Bon Religion
Six Buddhas of the Six Realms
Padmasambhava: Six Realms (Peling)

Miscellaneous Subjects:
Vajrabhairava Retinue Figure
Bookcovers, Ranjana/Lantsha Script
Manuscripts, Title Page
Bon Protector: Dragpa Sengge
Vajrapani, Sculpture
Stupa: Dhanyakataka

Nyingma Painting and Initiation Card Sets:
Padmasambhava: Vaishravana Form
Twenty-one Taras of the Chogyur Lingpa Tradition, Initiation Cards
Ngar Pan Yontan Terdzo Initiation Cards
Padmasambhava: Ngar Pan Yontan Terdzo Paintings
Padmasambhava: Terma Forms & Transference Paintings
Longchen Nyingtig Painting Set
Longchen Nyingtig Field of Accumulation Paintings
Yutog Nyingtig Initiation Cards(Set II)
Karling Shitro Initiation Cards
Deling Shitro Initiation Cards
Shigling Zab Dun Initiation Cards
Lama Gongdu Initiation Cards
Jangter Tugdrub Kagye Initiation Cards
Miscellaneous Initiation Cards (Rinchen Ter Dzo, Vol TSA)

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A Request For Testimonials

January 12, 2009 ·

The HAR website is requesting, for the purposes of grant writing and fund raising, scholars, academics, and educators of all kinds to send in testimonials of support to be posted on the site. The website was created and went live in 1997. Technology has changed, hardware is more robust, and software offers many more features and benefits to the end users. The HAR website needs to look towards the future with plans for new technologies, upgrades to existing infra-structure and new user features. Please help us in moving the field forward. Thank You.

Send testimonials to:, or

--- Jeff Watt
Director & Chief Curator

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First Post

October 21, 2008 ·

This is the first post of the HAR blog site. The intention of this new site is to create an open forum in which we might discuss all matters concerned with Himalayan art.

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