Entries for month: December 2011

Weird & Fantastical Gods & Deities - Updated

December 31, 2011 ·

The Weird & Fantastical Gods & Deities Outline Page has been updated. Links have also been added to the other pages of weird subjects on the HAR website. Work still remains to be done on the main subject page of Weird & Fantastical Gods & Deities such as adding the various links to pages and outlines. There are also more weird gods and deities to include in this growing section.

Tags: outlines

Founding Teachers of the Buddhist Traditions

December 29, 2011 ·

This is a list of the most famous founding teachers of Tibetan and Himalayan Buddhism. It is not definitive and not complete. For example, although Shabdrung Ngagwang Namgyal (1594-1651) is credited with the founding of the state of Bhutan, he did not necessarily introduce the Drugpa Kagyu Tradition to the region of Bhutan. Pajo Drugom Zhigpo (1208-1276) introduced Drugpa Kagyu to the region of Bhutan in the 13th century. For Shalu Monastery, Buton Tamche Khyenpa Rinchen Drub (1290-1364) was certainly the most famous teacher but he did not found the monastery, that was done in 1040 by Chetsun Sherab Jungne. It is also important to understand that founders of monasteries are not always founders of traditions of Buddhism, such as with Chetsun. It is difficult to find images for a number of the early founders of the various traditions, lineages and monasteries such as Pajo, Chetsun Sherab Jungne and others.

Tags: additions

Ling Gesar - Artworks Chronology

December 26, 2011 ·

The various works of art depicting Ling Gesar, and associated topics, can be divided into two mediums (painting and sculpture) and four general subjects solely based on the works that have been identified in museum and private collections thus far.

The Four Gesar Art Subjects:
[1] Gesar Life Story - Painting Set
[2] Gesar & the Thirty Warriors - Painting Set
[3] Gesar Norbu Dradul (painting or sculpture)
[4] Gesar Dorje Tsegyal (painting or sculpture)

The works documented are primarily from the time period prior to 1960. In the future, there will of course be many more paintings, sculpture and murals identified as the field of Himalayan and Tibetan art develops with time, interest and resources.

Tags: additions

Lineage Types in Himalayan Art

December 22, 2011 ·

The subject of lineage is one of the most common topics and visual depictions in Tibetan and Himalayan art. The two most commonly portrayed lineage types, in both painting and sculpture, are Teaching & Initiation Lineages followed by Incarnation Lineages. The more famous the lineage the more often it will be found represented in works of art.

The subject of lineage is best approached through the Three Essential Lineage Topics:
1. Definition & Three Similar Words
2. Three General Types of Lineage
3. Three Buddhist Traditions & Lineages

Tags: Lineages

Milarepa: Teachers & Students

December 21, 2011 ·

Milarepa was the most famous poet saint of Tibet. He is today principally known for his singing, leading a yogi lifestyle and for being a student of Marpa Chokyi Lodro.

However, before finding Marpa, Milarepa had a number of well known teachers. From amongst the many students of Milarepa the most famous are Rechungpa, Gampopa and the mountain goddess Tseringma. Each of Milarepa's teachers and each of Milarepa's students had many other disciples and students. From many of those teachers and students arose numerous lineages of teachings.

Tags: outlines

Damchen Garwa Nagpo - Updated

December 18, 2011 ·

Garwa Nagpo, Damchen (English: the Avowed Blacksmith), the principal attendant deity in the entourage of the Tibetan worldly protector Dorje Legpa. Garwa Nagpo can typically be found in art as a retinue figure in paintings of Dorje Legpa or as an independent figure in a painted composition with his own retinue of attendant figures.

Garwa Nagpo is generally found as a standard protector deity in the Karma Kagyu and Nyingma Traditions. Some Gelug monasteries and incarnate lama traditions (trulku) have also adopted Garwa Nagpo as their special protector deity.

Dorje Legpa and his retinue, including Damchen Garwa Nagpo, were originally believed to be subjugated in Tibet by Padmasambhava in the 8th century. They are avowed, oath-bound, protectors and perform the specific function of safeguarding the Nyingma Terma (treasure) tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.

General Description: Wrathful with one face and two hands, he is dark blue in colour, with three eyes, bared fangs and bright orange or brown hair flaming upward. The right hand holds aloft a vajra hammer and the left a blacksmith's bellows made of striped tiger skin. Adorned with a crown of five dry skulls and earrings he is lavishly attired in variously coloured full-length garments and felt boots. Riding atop a brown goat with two horns he is surrounded most often by grey or dark brown smoke along with licks of orange and yellow flame.

Damchen Garwa Nagpo can be accompanied by an assortment of retinue figures as described in the various ritual texts belonging to the different Nyingma Traditions of 'Revealed Treasure' (terma). Also, Garwa Nagpo is sometimes depicted with the accompanying figures of a black bear, fox, wild blue mule and a grey wolf. The animals function as servant-like messengers for the protector.

Tags: updates

Tsang Nyon Heruka - Updated

December 18, 2011 ·

The Tsang Nyon Heruka page has been updated with the addition of a short biography.

Tags: updates

Marpa Chokyi Lodro: Teachers & Students

December 15, 2011 ·

Marpa Chokyi Lodro is credited with the founding of the Marpa Kagyu Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. He had a number of well known teachers in Tibet, Nepal and India. The most famous teacher was the Indian siddha Naropa. From amongst the many students, Milarepa is the most well known. Each of Marpa's teachers and each of Marpa's students had many other disciple students. From each of these teachers and students arose numerous lineages of teachings. Some of the lineages of teachings remained within schools and traditions named after the many students while other lineages were absorbed into the Sakya, Jonang or Gelug Traditions.

The word lineage refers more accurately to a specific line of teachings, a specific transmission from a text or oral tradition, on a specific topic, such as Hevajra, Chakrasamvara or Guhyasamaja. For the Mahayan traditions there are the individual lineages of the Bodhisattva ordinations from the Madhyamakaand Yogachara. For the Hinayana Tradition there are the lineages of monastic ordination which can come from a number of different lineage traditions such as the Sarvastavadin from India. There are numerous Tibetan lineages of monastic ordination with the specific lineage of Shakyashri Bhadra being particularly well known.A school or tradition, such as the Kagyu School or Kagyu Tradition is a social and political construct. Schools and Traditions, two words often used inter- changeably, are larger repositories for the hundreds of individual lines of teachings, i.e. Tibetan Lineages.

An example of a lineage in the Marpa Kagyu Tradition would be the Ganges River Mahamudra taught by Naropa to Marpa. Another would be the Chakrasamvara instructions taught by the Pamting Brothers of Nepal to Marpa. It is always important to learn the differences early on between schools/traditions and specific teaching lineages.

Tags: outlines

Gesar Art Topics Glossary

December 13, 2011 ·

A glossary of Gesar terms specifically related to the art has been added to the Gesar pages. Epic Literature Gesar is a very large subject with a huge vocabulary of specialized terms and unique names. Luckily for the student studying Ritual Gesar, and the many visual forms, the unique vocabulary is much less daunting and easier to manage.

Tags: Glossary · additions

Shri Devi, Dorje Rabtenma - Updated

December 12, 2011 ·

Dorje Rabtenma, (English: the Vajra Stable One), a form of the protector goddess Shri Devi originating in the Nyingma Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Dorje Rabtenma is commonly found as the protector deity located in the bottom registers of paintings belonging to the schools originating with the Pagdru Kagyu of Pagmodrubpa. Subsequently, based on the numbers of images reproduced in paintings, the deity was predominantly practiced in the Shalupa and Tsarpa sub-schools of the Sakya Tradition.

Tags: updates · Shri Devi