Entries for month: September 2012

Five Personal Gods - Updated

September 26, 2012 ·

According to the 5th Dalai Lama it was Traba Ngonshe (1012-1090) and Guru Chowang (1212-1270) who first introduced the Five Personal Gods into a Buddhist context. In more modern times it was the 5th Dalai Lama (1617-1682) who wrote a ritual text and popularized the practice. The 4th Panchen Lama, Lobzang Tenapi Nyima (1782-1853), also wrote a liturgical text for the Five Personal Gods. The first known Sakya text was written by Dagchen Kunga Lodro (1729-1783) who clearly states that his writings are based on the text of the 5th Dalai Lama. Kunga Lodro also mentions very clearly in the first few lines of the text that the group of five protector gods belong both to the Bon and Buddhist religions. The 4th Panchen Lama, Tenpa'i Nyima, describes the lineage of practice as originating with Padmasambhva and given directly to Lama Tsongkapa.


White Chakrasamvara of Lama Umapa - Added

September 22, 2012 ·

The White Chakrasamvara tradition of Lama Umapa describes the deity as having a single face and two arms, embracing a red consort. Both are in a seated posture. The male figure holds two long-life vases in the right and left hands folded around the back of the consort. The consort holds two skullcups in the right and left hands. She is seated with her legs wrapped around the waist of Chakrasamvara.

Lineage: Vajradhara, Manjushri, Pawo Dorje (Umapa), Tsongkapa (1357-1419), Jampel Gyatso, Kedrub Geleg Palzang, Baso Chokyi Gyaltsen, Chokyi Dorje, Lobzang Dondrub, Kedrub Sanggye Yeshe, Lobzang Chokyi Gyaltsen, Konchog Gyaltsen, Panchen Lobzang Yeshe, Lobzang Zopa, Lobzang Palden Yeshe, Lobzang Jampal, etc.


White Chakrasamvara Main Page - Updated

September 22, 2012 ·

White Chakrasamvara is a meditational deity belonging to the Anuttarayoga classification of Buddhist Tantra. There are also subsidiary forms and practices of White Chakrasamvara that are specifically intended for the prolongation of life span.

The white form of the deity was popularized in Tibet and the Himalayan regions by the Indian teacher Mitra Yogin and the Kashmiri teacher Shakyashri Bhadra. The Mitra Yogin form of the deity is solitary (without a consort), in a standing posture, and part of a twenty-nine deity mandala. This form of the deity can be found in all of the Sarma traditions although practiced less frequently than the Shakyashri Bhadra tradition.

The Shakyashri Bhadra form of the deity is in a standing posture and partnered with Vajrayogini, red in colour. There are no retinue or accompanying mandala figures. The Sakya, Jonang, Kagyu and Gelug traditions mainly follow this tradition of White Chakrasamvara practice. There is also a long life practice associated with this deity, however the appearance remains the same.

The tradition of Lama Umapa, a teacher of Tsongkapa, describes the deity as white with a red consort, both in a seated posture. The male holds two long-life vases in the right and left hands. The consort holds two skullcups in the right and left hands. This form of Chakrasamvara with consort functions as a long life deity, unique to the Gelug Tradition, and appears to have been developed as a Tibetan creation.

Tags: iconography · additions

The Arts of Tibetan Painting (PIATS 2010)

September 22, 2012 ·

The Arts of Tibetan Painting: Recent Research on Manuscripts, Murals and Thangkas of Tibet, the Himalayas and Mongolia (11th-19th century). Edited by Amy Heller.

This collection of articles is a hallmark in publication as's first venture in online publication of a complete volume, comprising 13 articles which stem from the 12th Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies (Vancouver 2010). This volume of recent major discoveries and analyses by distinguished scholars of Tibetan and Mongolian art, history, and language is presented in a format accessible to non-specialist readers as well as specialists, copiously illustrated with detail enlargements. [The introduction above is taken from the Asianart website]. (See Table of Contents).

Tags: Sculpture · painting · portraits · Mongolia · Murals · additions · articles · Tibet

Kurukulla Masterworks - Added

September 15, 2012 ·

Kurukulla, Goddess of Power, Masterworks Page has been added.

Tags: Masterworks · additions

Begtse Chen Masterworks - Added

September 15, 2012 ·

Begtse Chen Masterworks Page has been added.

Tags: Masterworks · additions

Marichi Masterworks - Added

September 15, 2012 ·

Marichi, Goddess of the Dawn, Masterworks Page has been added.

Tags: Masterworks · additions

Jatson Nyingpo - Updated

September 15, 2012 ·

Jatson Nyingpo, 1585-1656, ('ja' tshon nying po, las 'phro gling pa): a famous 'treasure revealer' of the Nyingma Terma Tradition. He studied both Nyingma and Sarma, and was a prolific writer with over three hundred texts to his name.

Jatson Nyingpo is typically depicted as monk and wearing a red pandita hat. The right hand holds a vajra sceptre upraised. The left holds outstretched to the side a three sided peg (kila); seated in a circle of flames. The standardized artistic depictions are based on guruyoga textual descriptions.

Tags: updates · additions

Ushnishavijaya (Long Life Deity) Main Page - Updated

September 11, 2012 ·

The long-life deity/ishtadevata, Ushnishavijaya 'Victorious Crown Ornament,' is one of three special long-life deities along with the Buddha Amitayus and White Tara. This group is known as the Three Long Life Deities (Tibetan: tse lha nam sum). There are other deities associated with long life and healing but these three are commonly referred to as the principal deities and form their own group. The three were not formulated in India but rather popularized as a Tibetan iconographic convention.

"...Ushnishavijaya, the colour of an autumn moon, with three faces, white, yellow and blue and eight hands. Each face has three very large eyes. The first right hand holds a vishvavajra, second a white lotus with Amitabha [Buddha] residing, third an arrow and the fourth in [the gesture of] supreme generosity. The first left holds a vajra lasso, second a bow, third [in the gesture of] bestowing protection and fourth in [the gesture of] meditative equipoise holding an auspicious nectar vase; complete with silks and jewel ornaments, seated in [vajra] posture. Within the outer circle of the stupa, on the right [side of the chaitya], above a moon is Avalokiteshvara with a body white in colour, the left hand holds a lotus. On the left [of the chaitya], above a sun is Vajrapani, blue, the left hand holds an utpala with a vajra; standing in a peaceful manner and adorned with silks and jewels." (Jamyang Kyentse Wangpo, 1820-1892).

Tags: updates · iconography