Himalayan Art Resources

Sculpture: Choying Dorje Debate

Three Sculpture | Choying Dorje Main Page

There has been a debate among scholars for more than two decades about these three sculpture below. Some claim that they are the works of early Tibetan artists from the 7th to 9th century. Others argue that they are the creations of the 10th Karmapa Choying Dorje. All three works have incised Tibetan inscriptions mentioning Choying Dorje.

The Largest of the three works is the figure seated on the back of a cow. The inscription reads that it has been blessed by Choying Dorje.

The next sculpture is almost half the size of the previous. It is depiction of Hayagriva as a secondary figure accompanying Avalokitshvara (whereabouts unknown). It is possible that it belonged to a two figure composition, or possibly three figures in total. The inscription here also says that the object was blessed by Choying Dorje.

The smallest object is the sculpture of Vajrapani. It is likely to have belonged to a larger set, or a larger composition, because of the large metal ring on the lower back of the figure. The inscription here claims that the image was created by the hand of Choying Dorje.

Jeff Watt 10-2016