Sha mar pa Biographical Details
One of the most controversial figures in recent Himalayan history is Shamarpa, the 10th Red Hat Lama of Kamtsang Kagyu (Oral Tradition). Belonging to a wealthy and influential family, Shamarpa was the brother of the 3rd Panchen Lama. After the passing of the Panchen Lama, an unresolved dispute over family inheritance with a younger brother caused Shamarpa to leave central Tibet and eventually arrive in Nepal. Associated with the Nepalese Gurkha invasion of Tibet that was repelled by the Chinese Imperial Army, Shamarpa was believed by the Tibetan government to have committed treason. From that time until the 1950s, the incarnation line of the Shamarpa has been banned by the Tibetan Government in Lhasa. In the early 1950s, a new reincarnate lama of the Shamar lineage, the 12th Shamar, was discovered and enthroned by the 16th Karmapa.
This portrait, likely painted during his lifetime, is a good example of the new painting style which appears to be coming out of the Dege Region of Kham and specifically the Palpung Monastery of Situ Panchen Chokyi Jungne.
Jeff Watt 11-2000