Dharmapala Thangka CentreSchool of Thangka Painting


15.21 Macig Labdrön

Life of Macig Labdrön

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Due to the icon graphic characteristics of the main figure as well as the teachers and the tutelary goddesses on the borders it is clear to see that this scroll painting can be assigned to the Nyingma School. The tantric teacher in the center possibly depicts a manifestation of the Padmasambhava or a teacher who is depicted in the style of the Padmasambhava. His outer appearance is one of a Yogin or Mahasiddha.

The scroll painting painted with great attention to details was published several times. The main figure was identifeis as the Tibetan tantric Buddhist practitioner, teacher and yogini Macig Labdrön who originated several Tibetan lineages of the Vajrayana practice of Chöd.

The central figure is sitting under a tree in blossom in a landscape with lakes and waterfalls. In the right upraised hand she is holding a skull drum in the form of a sand glass and in the left hand a skull bowl filled with nectar. A Kathvanga staff is resting in the crook of her left arm. Her right leg is pulled up tight and the left leg is slightly stretched. A meditation band placed around the shoulders supports the left leg. The head is adorned with a skull crown with cusps of jewels. The hair is tied up into a richly adorned tower of hair. The figure wears the bone jewelry made up of six parts in a very delicate, artistic style as well as a skirt made of tiger skin on which silk bands are knotted. A long silk scarf hangs around her shoulders. She is sitting on a brown coat of a beast of prey. There is a bowl with flowers at her feet. Further to the right a goddess is holding a jewel up to her out of the water, behind her a demon appears with a lanceolate object in its hands.

On the upper edge of the painting in the center the Indian Master Prahevajra [dga'rab rdo rje] can be recognized, who is considered to be the first Indian teacher of the line of the 'Great Perfection' [rdzogs chen]. He is in the 'Vajra' sitting posture with his hands displayed in the 'Gesture of the Dharma Rades'.

In the right upper corner of the scroll painting an unidentified Tibetan tantric is sitting in monasterial robes with vajra and bell in his hands and the 'Lotus Hat' of the Padmasambhava on his head.

In the left upper corner we see Vairocana, the great translator of the Nyingma School. He is dressed in a monk's robe and wears a Pandita hat, the headwear of the great scholars. With his right hand he is making the 'Gesture of the Teaching' and in the left hand he is holding a book. On his forehead we recognize the third eye which is supposed to indicate his high level of knowledge.

On the top right hand border a translator of the Nyingma School can be recognized who is holding a scroll in his left hand. A large Vajta is hanging around his neck with disc-shaped pendants. To judge from his long tied up hair he could be a translator, who is not ordained ['rje bangs nyer Inga'] of the Padmasambhava, like for example Denma Tsemang [Idan ma rtse mang], responsible for the group of 25 students.

Opposite to him on the left hand border a tantric with long hair is sitting with Kila Dagger [phur bu] and prayer beads on a leopard skin. Here, Nub Sangya Yeshe [gnubs sangs rgyas ye shes] or however Palgyi Wanchug [dpal gyi dbang phyug] from this group of students could be depicted.

On the lower border of the scroll painting there are three tutelary goddesses in the lunge, in the center Gönpo Maning [mgon pa ma ning], in the left corner the tutelary goddess Ekajati and in the right corner an unidentified tutelary goddess. All three of them hold the heart of the oathbreaker in their left hand.

Source: Catalogue of the exhibition 'Kloster öffnen ihre Schatzkammern' Pages 290 - 293 - Kulturstiftung Ruhr Essen - Villa Hügel, Germany, 2006

The Original painting belongs to the Tibet Museums in Lhasa / Tibet, 17.-18. Jh. 56 x 85 cm


PropertyValue
Measurements: 16.5 x 25.6 " | 42 x 65 cm
Price: on request
Shipment: Parcel Service from Germany or Nepal
Farbe: Color Version
Material: Natural Stone Colors
Download: High resolution [2.2 MB, 2532 x 3617 px.]