Himalayan Art Resources

Subject: Men With Beards

Weird & Off Topics Main Page

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Beards Description (below)
- Beards Outline Page
- Sthavira Appearance
- King Appearance
- Siddha Appearance
- Deities with Beards
- Others...

Famous Men With Beards:
- Bodong Panchen Chogle Namgyal
- Janhchub Tsemo
- Karma Pakshi
- Ngagwang Lobzang Gyatso, 5th Dalai Lama
- Padmasambhava
- Pang Lotsawa
- Shabdrung Ngagwang Namgyal
- Tangtong Gyalpo
- Terdag Lingpa Gyurme Dorje
- Thartse Panchen Namkha Chime
- Others...

Historical figures such as Padmasambhava, Karma Pakshi, and the 5th and 13th Dalai Lamas are known for their moustache and goatee appearance. Tang Tong Gyalpo, Shabdrung Ngagwang Namgyal, Terdag Lingpa and others are known for wearing a full and flowing beard.

On the 'Men with Beards Page' where an individual is specifically named then the beard is a distinct iconographic feature in their standard iconography. For images of arhats and mahasiddhas then the beard is generally a creation of the artist. Traditionally the Vinaya code of Buddhist Monastics prohibits the wearing of a beard. Monks are required to be clean shaven. However, disheveled with a scruffy but not quite bearded, appearance can also be common for monks, as well as for the Sixteen Arhats and those siddhas that are depicted in 'mahasiddha' appearance. (Mahasiddhas typically have three types of appearance: [1] Lay, [2] Monastic, and [3] Siddha).

Chinese Kings, Brahmins and Indians in general, usually depicted as secondary figures, are often shown with a beard. The Four Guardian Kings are depicted with beards as are many Tibetan worldly gods and worldly protectors. Wrathful male deities, in general, have orange or red facial hair - eyebrows, moustache, beard - flowing upward like flames. Wrathful female deities often have the same facial hair as the males.

Jeff Watt [2-2010, updated 10-2018]

(The images below are only a selection of examples).