Himalayan Art Resources

Indian Scholar: Nagarjuna Depictions

Nagarjuna Main Page

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Single Painting Composition
- Life Story Painting
- Nagarjuna & the Six Ornaments
- Nagarjuna & the Eighty-four Mahasiddhas
- Nagarjuna & the Eight Great Mahasiddhas
- Mandalas and the Eight Mahasiddhas
- Tsongkapa & Graduated Path Lineage
- Miscellaneous Lineages (Secondary Figure): Example #58302
- Others...

Videos:
- Nagarjuna: Introduction
- Nagarjuna Confusions

Arya Nagarjuna can appear in a single unique composition but it is far more common that he is depicted along with the Six Ornaments, again as a single composition containing all the figures or as a painting set. Nagarjuna is included in the various sets of Eighty-four Mahasiddhas in a single composition or a set of paintings. The Sakya and Kagyu traditions typically include the eight great Mahasiddhas in the eight cemeteries surrounding a semi-wrathful or wrathful mandala.

In the 15th and early 16th century paintings of Tsongkapa was often depicted with the Madhyamaka and Yogachara lineages descending from the top center with Nagarjuna and Maitreya.

Tantric Lineages associated with Nagarjuna:

Acquiring the Chaitya Lineage of Acarya Aryadeva: Vajradhara, Shri Vajrapani, Maha Brahmin Saraha, Master Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Bhikshu Kanhapada, Master Chandrakirti, Dramze Padzin, Gayadhara, (etc. the same as from the Margapala Lineage).

Chakrasamvara Lineage, Abisheka, Root Tantra and Commentary: Vajradhara, Vajrapani, Maha Brahmin Saraha, Acharya Nagarjuna, The Protector Shavari, Luipa, Darikapa, Vajra Ghantapa, Kumarapada, Jalandharapa, Krishnapa, Guhyapa, Nampar Gyalwai Shap, The Acharya Barmai Lobpon, Tilopa, Naropa, (the two) Pamtingpa Kuche Nyi, Lama Lokkya Sherab Tseg, Lama Mal Lotsawa, The Lord of Dharma Sakyapa (1092-1158).

The Guhyasamaja Lineage of the Arya Cycle: Vajradhara, Vajrapani, Raja Indrabhuti, Lho Chog Gyatsoi Lhu, Lhule Jungwai Yeshe kyi Khandroma, Odyana Bishi Gyalpo, Vishukalpa, Maha Brahmin Saraha, Acharya Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Acharya Dawa Dragpa, Lopai Vajra, Chopawa, Padeva, Palwe, Vidya Bhadra, Devakara, Lama Go Lotsawa, Upa Geser, Nang Khaupa Kuche, The Lord of Dharma Sakyapa, Khau Dorje Dudjom, Jetsun Chenpo, Choje Pandita, Lama Chokyi Gyalpo Rinpoche, [etc.].

Guhyasamaja Akshobhyavajra Lineage, with the Thirty-two Deity Mandala, Abhisheka, Tantra and Sadhana together with its Branches: Vajradhara, Vajrapani, Acharya Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Shakya Shenyen, Chandrakirti, Rolpai Dorje, Kalden Dragpai Odzer Jungne Dragpa, Odze Deva, Chokyi Jungne Shiwa, Choje Panchen Shakya Shri, Choje Sakya Pandita, Lama Chokyi Gyalpo, [etc.].

Shri Chaturpita Lineage, Mahamandala, Abhisheka, and Commentary together with the Branches: Vajradhara, Acharya Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Asuri Drag Phugnag Nepai Yogini with a garland of bones, Balpo Nampar Gyalwa, Pawo De, Marpa Lotsawa, Ngog Chokyi Dorje, Ngog Dode, Ngotsa Choku, Ngotsa Konchog, Lokkya Wangchug Dragpa, Lama Ngong, Lama Chokyi Gyalpo, [etc.].

Jeff Watt 3-2021

(The images below are only a selection of examples from the links above).