Himalayan Art Resources

Indian Adept: Lawapa (Kambhala)

Eight Siddhas

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Description (below)
- Biography
- Monastic Appearance
- Lay Person Appearance
- Palpung Iconography
- Source literature:
- Writings
- Five Contexts
- Study Guide
- Confusions
- Others...

Video: Lawapa, The Blanket Siddha

Lawapa (Abhayakara #30, Vajrasana #19, Buton #62) is a name that makes reference to the blanket that Kambhala wore later in life. He is generally depicted in art either as either a monastic or as a lay person. Inscriptions on painting and sculpture can read either as Lawapa or as Kambhala which can lead to some confusion. The spellings of the two names can also vary greatly between artworks and over time and region.

Lawapa is not typical of the other mahasiddhas. Lawapa is commonly referred to by two different names and can appear either as a monk or as a layperson. Depending on the painting tradition Lawapa might also appear in siddha appearance with bone ornaments and wrathful attire.

Lawapa does not appear to be included in any of the early systems of the Eight Siddhas. In the 18th century, Situ Panchen Chokyi Jungne, the founder of Palpung monastery, substituted for his own purposes, the mahasiddha Luipa and replaced him with Lawapa. The Palpung painted representations of the Eight Siddhas are very well known and many copies were made in various compositional sets.

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Jeff Watt [updated 11-2021]