A Thirty-Two-Deity Guhyasamaja Mandala Tibet, Ngor monastery, circa 1520-1533
Lot 18
A Thirty-Two-Deity Guhyasamaja Mandala
Tibet, Ngor monastery, circa 1520-1533
Sold for US$ 929,000 inc. premium
Auction Details
A Thirty-Two-Deity Guhyasamaja Mandala Tibet, Ngor monastery, circa 1520-1533 A Thirty-Two-Deity Guhyasamaja Mandala Tibet, Ngor monastery, circa 1520-1533 A Thirty-Two-Deity Guhyasamaja Mandala Tibet, Ngor monastery, circa 1520-1533 A Thirty-Two-Deity Guhyasamaja Mandala Tibet, Ngor monastery, circa 1520-1533 A Thirty-Two-Deity Guhyasamaja Mandala Tibet, Ngor monastery, circa 1520-1533 A Thirty-Two-Deity Guhyasamaja Mandala Tibet, Ngor monastery, circa 1520-1533 A Thirty-Two-Deity Guhyasamaja Mandala Tibet, Ngor monastery, circa 1520-1533 A Thirty-Two-Deity Guhyasamaja Mandala Tibet, Ngor monastery, circa 1520-1533 A Thirty-Two-Deity Guhyasamaja Mandala Tibet, Ngor monastery, circa 1520-1533 A Thirty-Two-Deity Guhyasamaja Mandala Tibet, Ngor monastery, circa 1520-1533 A Thirty-Two-Deity Guhyasamaja Mandala Tibet, Ngor monastery, circa 1520-1533
Lot Details
A Thirty-Two-Deity Guhyasamaja Mandala
Tibet, Ngor monastery, circa 1520-1533
distemper on cloth with original blue cloth mounts and inscribed red lacquered rod, inscribed in gold in the top and bottom margins; the central figure of Guhyasamaja with three faces and six hands with a slightly fierce expression embraces his consort Sparshavajra while seated in vajra posture, the surrounding thirty solitary male and female deities occupy the red, green, white, and yellow mandala palace and include the twelve protective deities that guard the outer corners and gateways, in the corners outside the circle Manjuvajra Guhyasamaja, Lokeshvara Guhyasamaja, Rakta Yamari, Krishna Yamari, flanking these corner protector deities in smaller roundels are Sachen Kunga Nimpo, Grags-pa rgyal-mchan, and other lineage masters identified by inscriptions, the top register contains Vajradhara and the lineage of Indian, Nepali and Tibetan teachers, and the bottom register is Sakya Pandita, Panjarnata Mahakala and the ten gods of the worldly heavens.
Image: 20 x 17 1/2 in. (50.7 x 44.3 cm)

Footnotes

  • The inscription along the bottom margin reads:

    དཔལ་ལྡན་གསང་བ་འདུས་པའི་དཀྱིལ་འཁོར་བླ་བརྒྱུད་འདོད་ལྷ་དང་བཅས་པ་འདི་ཉིད། དཀྱིལ་འཁོར་རྒྱ་མཚོའི་རིགས་བདག་འཇམ་དབྱངས་དཀོན་མཆོག་ལྷུན་གྲུབ་པའི་ཐུགས་དགོངས་རྫོགས་པ་དང་།ཕ་མ་སེམས་ཅན་ཐམས་ཅད་ཀྱི་དོན་དུ། དགེ་སློང་ཀུན་དགའ་རྒྱལ་ མཚན་གྱིས་བཞེངས། དགེ་བ་སེམས་ཅན་ཐམས་ཅད་དོན་དུ་བསྔོ་བར་དགེའོ།

    This Shri Guhyasamaja mandala, together with the lineage teachers and Desire [Realm] gods, to fulfill the wishes of the Lord of an ocean of mandalas, Jamyang Konchog Lhundrub, and for the benefit of parents and sentient beings was made by Bhikshu Kunga Gyaltsen. May the merit be dedicated to all sentient beings.

    Therefore, we understand that the mandala was commissioned by Kunga Sonam, likely to be Jamyang Kunga Sonam (1485-1533) the 22nd Sakya Tridzin, in the fullfilment of the wishes and aspirations of Ngorchen Konchog Lhundrub (1497-1557), the 10th Ngor Khenchen. The two important historical figures overlapped between 1520-1533, providing the secure basis for dating.

    Konchok Lhundrub was enthroned as the tenth abbot of Ngor at the age of thirty-eight. He is recorded to have excelled in teaching, debate, and writing, and demonstrated the classic Buddhist qualities of being learned, virtuous, and noble. He had disciples in many distant regions, including Kham, Amdo, U, and Ngari. Konchok Lhundrub did not stay full-time at Ngor, but traveled to Nyangrong, Mu, Nalendra, and various other monasteries to teach. Many powerful families such as the Khon and the Rinpung (rin pungs pa) relied on his instruction.

    In authoritative biographies listed on treasuryoflives.com, Konchok Lhundrub held the throne at Ngor for almost twenty-five years, until he passed away in 1557. During that time, he gave the Lamdre teachings thirty-three times, in addition to many other beneficial activities such as commissioning works of art. Jamyang Kunga Sonam, also known as Sakya Lotsāwa Jampai Dorje was enthroned as the twenty-second throne holder of Sakya in 1496. It is recorded that he studied the arts with Zhalu Lotsāwa Rinchen Chokyong (1441-1527) and travel extensively to receive teachings at Ngor, Tsedong, Nalendra, Lingga Dewachen, Reting and other monasteries.

    This particular painting depicts a lineage that is called the 'early' or 'old' lineage according to Jamgon Ameshab Kunga Sonam (1597-1660). There are four principal lineages for this form of the meditational deity Guhyasamaja. The first is the lineage of Abhayakaragupta contained in the famous Vajravali text. The second lineage is that of Nyen Lotsawa, no.42 in the Gyu de Kuntu set of mandalas. The third lineage belongs to Marpa Lotsawa and the text is found in the Kagyu Ngag Dzo. The fourth lineage is that of Go Lotsawa Kugpa Lhatse. This mandala painting belongs to the Go Lotsawa Tradition. In the textual literature, farther down in the list of lineage teachers are Sa Lotsawa Jambaiyang Kunga Sonam immediately followed by Yongdzin Konchog Lhundrub. The painting above was commissioned by Kunga Sonam for his student Konchog Lhundrub - both lineage holders for this particular tradition of Akshobhyavajra Guhyasamaja.

    The finely detailed Newar scrollwork is larger and more defined through the use of meow pronounced outlining and shading compared with earlier examples of the Beri tradition at Ngor. In the red spandrels, the interlocking roundels are formed with the broad terminus facing each other. Also noteworthy is the graduation in scale of the scrolling elements within the palace, starting with small minor scrolls around the principle figure and climaxing with larger, more open, elements dividing the deities that frame the square. Together with variance in underlying ground colors, this creates a visible dimensional effect of the palace structure.

    For a closely related Thirty-Two-Deity Guhyasamaja Mandala of the same scale and period with minor differences in the upper and lower registers in the Navin Kumar Collection, see Huntington and Bangdel, Circle of Bliss, Buddhist Meditational Art, Los Angeles, 2003, p, 443, no. 136. Also compare with a Chakrasamvara mandala in the Rubin Museum of Art, see Linrothe and Watt, Demonic Devine: Himalayan Art and Beyond, New York, 2005, p.199, no. 43. Additionally, compare a Vajrabhairava mandala commissioned by Lhachog Sengge in the Rubin Museum of Art, C2005.16.40 (HAR 65463).

    Published:
    HAR #30510 - http://www.himalayanart.org/image.cfm/30510.html

    Provenance:
    Private American Collection

    1. Akshobhyavajra 2. Guhyasamaja 3. Amitabha 4. Amoghasiddhi
    5. Vairochana 6. Ratnasambhava 7. Gauri 8. Tara
    9. Lochana 10. Mamaki 11. Gandhavajra 12. Rasavajra
    13. Rupavajra 14. Shabdavajra 15. Hayagriva 16. Manjushri
    17. Niladanda 18. Nivarana Vishkambhin 19. Samantabhadra 20. Mahabala
    21. Maitreya 22. Yamanatak 23. Kshitigarbha 24. Achala
    25. Vajrapani 26. Akashagarbha 27. Takkiraja 28. Lokeshvara
    29. Shumbha 30. Vignantaka 31. Ushnisha Chakravarim 32. Prajnanraka
    33. Vajradhara 34. Indrabhuti 35. Jnana Dakini 36. Raja Visukalpa
    37. Brahmin Saraha 38. Arya Nagarjuna 39. Aryadeva 40. Shakya Mitra
    41. Mahasiddha Nagabodhi 42. Shri Chandrakirti 43. Shisha Vajra 44. Krishnacharin
    45. Indra 46. Yama 47. Varuna 48. Yaksha
    49. Agni 50. Raksha 51. Vayu Deva 52. Ishana
    53. Brahma 54. Bhudevi 55. Panjarnata Mahakala 56. Sakya Pandita
    A. Manjuvajra Guhysamaja B. Gomashri C. Go Lotsawa D-E. Avalokita Guhyasamaja
    F. Pandita Viryabhadra G. Upa Geser H-I. Krishna Yamari J. Nam Ka'upa
    K. Lobpon Sonam Tsemo L-M. Rakta Yamari N. Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen O. Sachen Kunga Nyingpo
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