Himalayan Art Resources

Subject: Monks as Deities & Retinue Figures (Battle Monks & Protectors)

Monastic Appearance Main Page

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Description (below)
- Powari (Bon)
- Dragpa Sengge (Bon)
- Dorje Shugden: (Buddhist)
- Karma Tansrung (Buddhist)
- Confusions
- Controversies: Dragpa Sengge, Dorje Shugden
- Others...

Appearing as a Retinue Figure Only:
- Hayagriva, Black, Riding a Tiger (Retinue Figure)
- Panjarnata Mahakala (Retinue Figure)
- Pehar (Retinue Figure)
- Others...

Buddhist monks depicted as protector deities, both peaceful and wrathful, is not uncommon. Below are some depictions of the more commonly found forms. In some case the monk is depicted as the central figure. With many principal protector deities such as Mahakala and Pehar Gyalpo the monk figures are part of the retinue deity circles.

The Sixteen Elders (Arhats) can appear engaged in a variety of unusual means of travel according to the story of their visit to the emperor of China. In some of the examples the Elders could possibly be mistaken for some type of deity subject.

Jeff Watt 5-2013 [updated 6-2017, 8-2017]

(The images below are only a selection of examples from the links above along with various murals from site locations).