Himalayan Art Resources

Subject: Wrathful Gurus with Hats

Iconography: Guru (Teacher)

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Description (below)
- Dorje Drolo
- Karmapa
- Wangdu Nyingpo
- Totreng Tsal Padmasambhava
- Rwa Lotsawa Dorje Drag
- Karmapa/Dorje Drolo (Trungpa Tradition)
- Masterworks
- Confusions
- Others...

Video: Wrathful Gurus With Hats

Several wrathful forms of Guru Rinpoche, Padmasambhava, wear a lotus hat such as Dorje Drolo and Totreng Tsal. Not all forms of Dorje Drolo wear the lotus hat. Only two Revealed Treasure tradition forms have been identified thus far with a third introduced by the 20th century teacher Chogyam Trungpa (1939-1987). Trungpa Rinpoche's addition is the image of a form of Dorje Drolo wearing the black hat of the Karmapa rather than the typical Nyingma lotus hat.

The Sakya Throne Holder (Sakya Tridzin) Wangdu Nyingpo (c.1763-c.1806) can be found wearing either the pandita hat, with upward folded lappets, or a cap style hat topped with a black raven bird image. This is not common for all depictions of Wangdu Nyingpo but rather only to those forms described in guruyoga meditation texts, of which there are several.

Ra Lotsawa Dorje Drag (1016-1198) is included based on a single depiction where he appears as a wrathful figure wearing a black magicians broad rimmed hat.

Karma Pakshi, the 2nd Karmapa (1204-1283), in his guruyoga form wearing the black hat is sometimes depicted as semi-wrathful and maroon in colour. Currently these four teachers are the only wrathful gurus wearing hats to be identified in art. It is very much a certainty that more examples will be found.

Jeff Watt 4-2022