Himalayan Art Resources

Teacher: Tsongkapa (Descending from Tushita)

Tsongkapa Iconography

In the appearance of a monastic scholar with a yellow pandita hat and the orange patchwork robes of a fully ordained monk he performs with both hands the mudra of Dharma teaching at the heart while holding the stems of two lotus flowers blossoming at both ears supporting on the right a wisdom sword and at the left a book. With the two legs folded in vajra posture he sits upon a moon disc and pink lotus seat surrounded by an ornate gold nimbus of wishing jewels and rainbow spheres. At the front, to the right and left of a begging bowl, sit the two close disciples of Je Rinpoche, Gyaltsap Dharma Rinchen (1364-1432) and Kedrup Geleg Pal Zangpo (1385-1438). Both wear monastic robes and yellow hats each holding a book in the left hand while the right hands assume postures of explication of the teachings. Emanating from the heart of the bodhisattva Maitreya, dwelling in the Tushita heaven above, all three are seated atop a great white bank of billowing clouds.

"From the heart of the Lord of the hundred gods of Tushita,
On the peak of a cloud, bright white like a mound of fresh yogurt,
Lord of Dharma, Omniscient Lobzang Dragpa,
Together with sons; please come here." (Gelugpa liturgical verse).

Jeff Watt 8-1998