Entries for month: November 2012

Red Avalokiteshvara of Pema Lingpa

November 25, 2012 ·

Pema Lingpa (1450-1521) was a Treasure Revealer of the Nyingma Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. (See a short biography).

'The Very Condensed Essence' Avalokiteshvara has one face and two hands, red in colour, seated in vajrasana posture. In the right hand he holds to the heart a lotus garland (mala). The left hand is in the lap and holds a nectar vase with a lotus flower above. Seated in the lap is the consort, the great mother, Sangyema, red in colour and holding the same objects as Avalokiteshvara. In the literature describing in full the appearance and surroundings of Avalokiteshvara there are a number of other deities and figures.

This form of Avalokiteshvara is commonly mistaken for the deity Amitayus Buddha.

Tags: painting · Murals · iconography · additions · Bhutan

Mountain Sanctuary Collection (Painting) - Added

November 19, 2012 ·

The Mountain Sanctuary Collection is new to the HAR Website. It is a private collection that contains over 700 paintings and approximately 700 sculpture. Additional images of paintings will be added as they become available. The collection is a treasure house of iconographic forms, portraits, life story narratives, along with peaceful and wrathful deities of all types, comparable to the collections of the Rubin Museum of Art and the Hahn Foundation.

Tags: collections · additions

Yellow Jambhala: Eastern Tibetan Depictions

November 19, 2012 ·

Yellow Jambhala: these four images of the deity are each based on the same original model for depicting the basic form. The third image, HAR 60616, is a variation on the model with the added figure of the consort Vasudhara.

Tags: painting · additions

Mountain Sanctuary Collection (Sculpture) - Added

November 18, 2012 ·

The Mountain Sanctuary Collection is new to the HAR Website. It is a private collection that contains over 700 sculpture and approximately 700 paintings. Additional sculptural images will be added as they become available. The collection has both early and late pieces and is particularly fine in its quality and breadth.

Tags: Sculpture · collections · additions

Padmasambhava & the Copper Coloured Mountain - Updated

November 18, 2012 ·

Padmasambhava is commonly seen depicted at the center of a Copper Coloured Mountain painting composition. Although all of the many paintings look generally the same, they are in fact all different and belong to a variety of different Nyingma lineage traditions - along with some Kagyu traditions.

Tags: updates

Amitabha in Sukhavati (Namcho Tradition Format)

November 11, 2012 ·

The Namcho Tradition of 'Revealed Treasure' discovered by Mingyur Dorje (1645-1667) presents a variation on the theme of Amitabha in Sukhavati with the addition of a number of Tantric elements which differs from all of the other depictions.

Tags: additions

Amitabha Buddha in Sukhavati (Circular Format)

November 11, 2012 ·

Amitabha depicted in a circular format is the second of the three format composition types. This format appears to have originated in or around Tashi Lhunpo Monastery of Tsang Province, Tibet. The subject of the composition is dominated by a large circular enclosure containing the essential elements of the painting. The large figure of Amitabha Buddha is presented in the middle along with a tree and palace, accompanied by the Eight Great Bodhisattvas.

Tags: painting · additions

Amitabha Buddha in Sukhavati (Square Format Composition)

November 11, 2012 ·

Amitabha depicted in the Sukhavati Heaven is a common image in Himalayan and Tibetan art. It is an iconic symbol and subject representing Mahayana Buddhism in general. The basic figures, characters and scenes are common for most representations found in the different traditions despite having several composition and artistic styles and types.

There are three main composition types with the first being the [1] square format followed by the [2] circular format and finally the depiction of Sukhavati based on the [3] Namcho 'Revealed Treasure' Tradition of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism.

Tags: painting · additions

Who is the God Kubera?

November 04, 2012 ·

Who is the God Kubera in Tantric Buddhism and why are so many deities identified as Kubera?

The sculpture on the left is not Kubera - it is Vaishravana Riding a Lion!

Kubera is a name for a God of Wealth in Indian Buddhist literature. He is also closely associated with Vaishravana, the God of the North, who inhabits the Northern slopes of Mount Sumeru in Pali and Sanskrit Mahayana literature.

Unfortunately, almost all figures identified as Kubera in Tibetan and Himalayan art are not accurately identified. The name Kubera has essentially come to be used as a category for a type of deity, a designation for all deities that have a certain appearance but have not necessarily been precisely identified. The problematic way in which the word Kubera is being used in the West actually has a more proper designation and definition in Tibetan Art. That designation is 'King Appearance' which is one of the traditional figurative forms in Tibetan art. It also has a prominent place in the modern system of the Eleven Figurative Forms.

Tags: iconography · additions

Maitreya in a Standing Posture - Added

November 01, 2012 ·

Maitreya is quite often found depicted in a standing posture. He can appear in either Bodhisattva appearance or in Buddha appearance. There are also many regional artistic styles from Kashmir in the West, Ngari to Central Tibet, Nepal or Pala India. Each of these major regions have different artistic expressions and aesthetics. Even the jewelry and slight twist in the body can be different.

Maitreya is still identified by the unique and shared attributes such as the stupa, water flask, wheel and krishnasara deerskin draped across the left shoulder. The deerskin is a shared attribute with Avalokiteshvara.

Tags: additions