Dharmapala Thangka CentreSchool of Thangka Painting

5.33 Yama

Copy of an Antique Painting by Dharmapala Thangka Centre

Antique Original Painting

Published by Guiseppi Tucci, 1949 Tibetan Painted Scrolls. 3 vols. Rome: La libreria dello stato

The Thangka was reproduced only as black-and-white photo in this edition. Dharmapala Thangka centre got the order to find out the old original colors for a faithful copy

Original Disciption of Guissepi Tucci:

"This thangka represents the C´os rgyal p´yi sgrub, i.e. the king of Death in his exoteric form. He is also commonly known as gSin rje c´os kyi rgyal po.

He has the face of a buffalo and two hands; in the right he brandishes the t´od dbyug, the club surmounted by a skul; in the left, in the threatening mudra, graps a noose: he has three eyes, blazing like the fire that will consume the universe at the end of the cosmic acons.

On his left is represented Camundi, black, with red and yellow hair: she wears an elephant skin on her shoulders and grasps a trident and a skull cap. They both ride buffalo.

In the centre of the thangka, above, is represented a Jam dpal, on whose right stands Tson k´s pa; next other masters. Round the god, who lifts his club, a crowd of terrific creatures hovers weirdly; they brandish weapons, they twist their muscular bodies in a violent contortions, as if swept away by a hellish fury; they rush off as though a hurricane scattered them about. But it is their inner fierceness which moves them and flings them into space with a sort of devouring frenzy.

Some of them are female figures, although their monstrous aspect all but abolishes any distinction of sex: all the images are mingled in the same horror. But they can be recognized by their foul, pears-haped breasts, hanging down huge and flabby.

The female deities represent some of the 12 ma mo c´en mo, the King of Death´s messengers. "the great mothers," described in liturgical literature as:

- gSin rjei p´o na mo, black with a hook
- Dus kyi zags pa ma, black with a noose
- gSin rje dam sri ma nag mi, with a club
- gSin rje sreg ma, black, with a tooth
- Dus mtsán ma"