Dharmapala Thangka CentreSchool of Thangka Painting

11.9 Guru Nyima Oeser [2]

Manifestation of Padmasambhava

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This manifestation of Padmasambhava is of him as a siddha, or yogi, named Guru Nyima Oeser. the "Sun-Ray-Guru." The "Padma bka´ yi thang yig" his biography compiled by Yeshe Tsogyal, describes the yogic arts mastered by the Precious Guru. He had mastered the arts of "essence-sucking" (bcudlen) of elements for producing health and longevity, of inner heat, of fleetness of foot, of clearness od mind, of lightness of body, of prolonging life, and of acquiring limitless learning.

He has also mastered the yogic art of extracting elixirs from pebbles and sand, and of transmuting filth and the flesh of human corpses into pure food.

Another accomplishment of his mastery of acrobatics. e had acquired the proficiency for prolonging life by taking the essence of gold, preventing disease by taking the essence of silver, walking on water by taking the essence of pearls, neutralizing poison by taking the essence of iron, and acquiring clear vision by taking the esence of lapis-lazuli.

All together he had mastered the practice of one-thousand such essences and promulgated them for the benefit of mankind.

Once the Buddha of Medicine appeared before him and gave him the nectar of eternal life. The Lotus-born drank half of it for immortality and hid the other half in a stupa. Frorn then on he was called "Padma, the Siddha."

He got the name "Sun-Ray Guru" when in the form of a wine-drinking yogi, or Heruka, he prevented the sun from setting. The legend says that in his siddha manifestation, Padmasambhava went to a tavern kept by a woman and ordered wine with the promise to pay at sunset. He not only drank all the wine that the woman had, but also kept her busy fetching him wine from the neighbourhood. When the sun was about to set he placed his magical phurbu half in sunshine, half in shadow, thus preventing the sun from setting.

After seven days the country became parched, and the grass dried up. The people complained bitterly to their king, saying that a mendicant drunkard might be the source of this misfortune. The king went to the yogi and asked him why he drank in that fashion. He replied that he had no money to pay for the wine. And when the king promised to settle the account, the Heruka picked up the phurbu and the sun set again.

Usually the Sun-Ray Guru is represented in the form of a siddha who holds sunrays playfully in his left hand. This Thangka does not have that feature. Yet due to other iconographic details, such as the magic dagger on the table, it can be assumed that the person represented here is not an unknown siddha but indeed Guru Nyima Öser. This is also indicated by the appearance of the "All-Good" Adibuddha Samantabhadra embracing the "Great Mother" Samantabhadri who appear to emerge as rainbow light out of the crown of the Siddha Guru.

Naked except for the tiger skin barely covering his hips, the Yogi Master sits on a lotus throne. In front of him, several liturgical instruments, such as a skull, a bell, a damaru, and a phurbu, rest on a table. His long hair is partly knotted on top of his head.

He wears the five-fold set of bone ornaments: a skull crown, rings on arms, hands and feet, as well as earrings, a necklace, and belt. The crown serves for venerating the guru; the earrings cause deafness against calumny; the necklace is for intoning the mantra; the rings protect him from harming other beings and the belt supports his wisdom consort. According to another explanation, the bone ornaments symbolize the five Tathagatas or, together with ash of the cremation ground, the six perfections.

The right hand menacingly holds a vajra aloft. In his left arm the Sun-Ray Guru holds a magical Khatvanga staff with trident, rattle rings, and three human heads in different stages of decay - fresh, humid and dry - symbolizing the three bodies of enlightenment.

In his left hand he holds a skull cup filled with elixir, a symbol for wisdom, great bliss, and self-sacrifice, Its symbolism embraces the Absolute beyond all dualistic concepts: on the level of relative reality it is a symbol of impermanence.

A skillful yogi will use it with transcendental awareness "out of which he drinks with self abandoning relish the one- taste of samsara and nirvana,": to speak in the Doha language of the siddhas.

Source: Dr. Andrea Loserie-Leick, Tibetan Art Calender 1998, November, Wisdom Publication, London

Measurements: 23.6 x 17.7" | 60 x 45 cm
Price: on request
Shipment: Parcel Service from Germany or Nepal
Color: Color Version
Material: Natural Stone Colors