Himalayan Art Resources

Indian Scholar: Bhavaviveka Main Page

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Bhaviveka (or Bhavaviveka): a famous Indian scholar considered by some to be a pre-incarnation of the Panchen Lama. The images below belong to a famous set of paintings portraying the lineage of Panchen Lamas according to an unknown artist of Nartang monastery.

All of the compositions below are based on the Nartang set of wood block carvings and prints. The set appears originally to have had thirteen compositions. Over time it has expanded to nineteen. Both the thirteen and nineteen paintings sets were focused on the 3rd Panchen as the central figure and terminus of the lineage. Additional Panchens in the lineage sequence have been added to the set after the 3rd Panchen.

Bhaviveka can be found as a secondary figure in other compositions but not usually as a central figure. One of the very best painting examples belongs to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, HAR #87022.

Nartang Iconography: [1] Bhavaviveka is attired as a monk and wears a pandita hat. The arms perform a debate gesture. At the top left is [2] Arya Nagarjuna. On the right side is [3] Heruka Chakrasamvara. At the bottom right is [4] Chaturbhuja Mahakala.

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Jeff Watt 10-2000 [updated 9-2013, 10-2017]