Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Chicago Museums

I just spent the last three days in collections storage at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Field Museum. The Art Institute had a few things that were Sakya related. The most important piece was a painting of Hevajra that is from a known set commissioned in Ngor in the beginning of the 17th century. It was a set commemorating the passing of an important Lama from one of the four Ngor Labrangs. It belongs to the same set as the Guhyasamaja of the Rubin Museum of Art.

The field Museum had a number of interesting works including a painting of what appeared to be a Sakya Tridzin along with two other lamas. Each was inscribed with a gold inscription although I couldn't immediately identify which lamas they were. All three were likely alive when the painting was commissioned. This was indicated by a long-life vase in each of their hands. There was also a very nice Vajrapani Bhutadamara painting and a Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo guruyoga painting.

I hope to have the Field Museum images up on the HAR website soon.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Links Fixed and Updated

Many of the broken links have been fixed and updated. Pages fixed: Links, Art, News, Glossary, Holy Days, History, and Fact Sheet. The Bibliography, Teachers and Teachings sections will be checked for broken links over the next couple of weeks. I will be away working in Chicago for a week or so. When I return I will attend to the last of the possible link problems. After that I will begin to add new content to the website and add the new Sakya material to the Himalayan Art Resources website.

One thing that I used to do periodically was a full Google search for all new Sakya and Sakya related websites, Pdfs and Ftp resources on the web. This I have not done for a couple of years. I hope to do this in the next couple of weeks.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Other Important Sakya Resources

I need to say that one reason that the SRG has been neglected, which I feel bad about, is because I spend so much of my time working in New York on the Himalayan Art Resources website (HAR) of the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation. This and the Rubin Museum of Art (RMA) have been my primary job for the last nearly 11 years. However, I am now the former Senior Curator of the RMA and this has freed up enormous amounts of my time. My main focus currently is directed towards the HAR website, research, consulting, translating, writing and publishing.

With that out of the way, let's now talk about the enormous wealth of Sakya resources on the HAR website. Aside from using the general Index, found on the home page, when searching on specific subjects like a deity name or person, for example Hevajra, or Sakya Pandita, look to the Sakya Tradition in the Outline Pages, found at the bottom of the HAR home page. In Outlines find Religious Traditions and click on Sakya. From here you can access many Thematic Sets (our technical word for groupings of related art objects) that take you to specific Sakya subjects.

Not all art images have write-ups or explanations. You have to be a little adventurous and explore by clicking on the different thumbnail images until you find a painting or sculpture that interests you or has a write-up that is on a subject you are looking for. Don't be afraid to explore.

The current Sakya Outline page is actually out dated and I will be correcting that soon with updated images, information, links, etc. Last summer I spent five weeks teaching in Tibet and was fortunate to have a full week in Sakya and was able to take thousands of pictures of art and architecture. These images will be going up onto the HAR website soon. For important Sakya subjects also look at the Outline Page titled Iconography: Deities & Subjects. Here you will find many important subjects that relate directly to Sakya and the various branch schools. For those of you that are actual practitioners look to the Thirteen Golden Dharmas page for images that correspond to those practices.

As a supplement to the Sakya Glossary (SRG) and those of you that have the Vajrayogini glossary on the SRG site please look to the Caution Words glossary and others on the HAR site under Links, Subject, and finally Glossary Resources. The first entries that are preceded by an * asterisks I have written especially for the HAR website. The others are links to mostly academic institutions with useful glossaries. The *Mahasiddha Glossary especially should be of interest to Sakya practitioners.

As I re-do the main Sakya Outline page on HAR I will try to keep in mind the needs of Sakya followers and re-shape the information so as to present the HAR information in a more practitioner/follower framework on the SRG website. (The image on the left is a picture of me in a Manjushri Chapel in Sakya, June 2007).

Sakya Outline Page
Iconography: Deities & Subjects
Glossary Resources

Thursday, October 23, 2008

First Post

This is the first post of the Sakya Resource Guide (SRG) blog site. I am hoping that this new feature on SRG will help to keep the site fresh and encourage individuals to encourage me to make updates more frequently and to be more responsive to questions and e-mails. In this busy world I find that my attention goes towards those who talk loudest or capture my attention with some interesting topic or question. We shall see how well this works.

The painting detail at the left side is of Sakya Tridzin Wangdu Nyingpo, the father of the two Sakya Palaces; Puntsok and Drolma Podrangs.