Himalayan Art Resources

Blockprints: Tsongkapa

Tsongkapa Life Story Main Page

The common block print set depicting the life of Lama Tsongkapa in fifteen densely illustrated carvings.

These blockprint images were first published by Giuseppe Tucci (1894-1984) in the publication Tibetan Painted Scrolls (1949) in three volumes.

Jeff Watt 3-2002

This method for depicting the life story of liberation of the great incomparable Tsongkhapa on painted cloth in 153 parts called Cittamani Rosary Spreading the Buddha’s Teachings; Great Ocean of Benefit and Joy, was composed by one possessing indivisible faith in this Venerable Lama alone, the learned fully ordained Shakya monk, Jamyang Shepai Dorje [1648–1721]. On the occasion of painting large thangkas on cloth, the order of events and so forth was well arranged based on the Omniscient Khedrub Je’s Marvelous Biography of Tsongkhapa Called Ford of Faith, Secret Biography, and Extremely Secret Biography; a biography by the Lord of Siddhas, Legzangpa, Super-Secret Wonder; an appendix by one who directly perceived Manjushri, Togden Jampel Gyatso; the Lord of Scholars, Gungru Gyaltsen Zangpo’s biographical commentary, Well Spoken Lamp; The Ford of Faith containing both the external and secret biographies by Kunga Deleg of Naynying; the biography called Eighty Deeds of Tsongkhapa by Jamyang Kachay; Jewel Light Rays and All Victorious Great Deeds by my own teacher, the precious throne-holder; many histories of the Dharma by the lord of scholars, Panchen Sonam Dragpa, Phabongkha Paljor Lhundrup, Khar Nagpa, and others; and the Blue Annals and many histories of both my own and other traditions. By this may the teachings of the All-Knowing Conqueror in general, and especially the teachings of the Gentle Protector, the Great Tsongkhapa, spread and increase in all ways and remain for a long time.

(Translated by Gelong Tenzin Legtsok, 2019. This text is a translation of Kunkhyen Jamyang Shepai Dorje (kun mkhyen 'jam dbyangs bzhad pa'i rdo rje), tsong kha pa chen po'i rnam thar ras bris kyi tshul brgya dang nga gsum pa tsin+ta ma Ni'i phreng ba thub bstan rgyas byed phan bde'i rol mtsho chen po bzhugs so (Cittamani Rosary Spreading the Buddha’s Teachings; Great Ocean of Benefit and Joy; A Method for Depicting the Sacred Biography of the Great Jetsun Tsongkhapa on Painted Cloth in One Hundred and Fifty-Three Parts) in kun mkhyen 'jam dbyangs bzhad pa'i rdo rje'i gsung 'bum, vol.4, BDRC W21503, Mundgod: Gomang College, 1997, 285–336).