Himalayan Art Resources

Iconography: Life Story Iconography

Life Story Iconography | Life Story Paintings Main Page

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Life Story Iconography Description (below)
- Tonpa Shenrab
- Yogeshvara Virupa
- Padmasambhava
- Padmapa Sanggye
- Confusions
- Others...

Life Story Iconography is defined as different iconographic figurative forms, presented in sequence, used to depict important life events from the biographies of Tonpa Sherab, Virupa and Padmasambhava. These different figurative forms also serve as a mnemonic device for remembering and retelling the significant events.

There are three popular semi-mythological figures that characterize and depict the principal events of their lives in different forms. They are Tonpa Shenrab, founder of the Bon religion, Virupa and Padmasambhava. The Tonpa Shenrab life story is described in twelve different forms called the Choga Chunyi. The story of Virupa is described in six main forms. Padmasambhava is described in eight principal forms, along with other systems of twelve, sixteen and possibly more.

Padampa Sanggye also has several different iconographic forms that depict different aspects of his character. These however do not appear to be sequential nor structured around a standardized textual narrative, or life story.

Jeff Watt 9-2017