Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
See Mapping a Mandala: Hevajra - A Visual Model.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
The Masterworks page on the HAR website is based almost exclusively on art and aesthetics while maintaining a standard of iconographic accuracy. From a religious perspective, a Sakya perspective, or a Lamdre perspective, the Masterworks Page would change and reflect predominantly iconography and the chronology of small changes in iconography that reflect changes in the teachings and commentaries that have taken place over the last millennium. A religious Masterworks page might also include unique and rare subjects that pertain to Hevajra in general, or to the specific Lamdre system such as the Hevajra Balimta Offering painting.
Aside from the artistic qualities of this Hevajra mandala it is perhaps the best, or clearly one of the best, iconographic examples of a Hevajra Mandala in the world. Anybody who is interested in the practice of Hevajra or engages in the practice should know this painting and should study this painting. Every figure depicted in the mandala is clear, iconographically detailed, and correct. Two mandala elements stand out as being particularly detailed, the Eight Great Cemeteries and the Eleven Wrathful Ones. Each of the Wrathful Ones is correctly coloured and holds the correct object, or mudra, in the right hand.
Reading a mandala is often very difficult without insider knowledge and the benefit of the explanatory literature. Painted mandala compositions are generally read from the center out and then all of the figures immediately outside of the mandala circle, followed by the top register, and then finishing with the bottom register. The important sections of the MFA Hevajra painting have been divided into colours; blue for the essential deities, red for the Eight Great Charnal Grounds, yellow for the lineage teachers and green for the miscellaneous deities added by the donor or artist. Click on the image to see the greyscale/coloured Numbered and Names Key for this painting.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
This painting is both unique and special, not because it is so clear and easy to follow, but rather because it represents precisely the form of Mahakala described in the Vajrapanjara Tantra and also because it includes so many other deities described in that same tantra that are special to the Hevajra system of practice - such as White Prajnaparamita, Vajra Tara, Bhutadamara Vajrapani, etc.
Panjarnata, Vajra Mahakala (Tibetan: dor je nag po chen po, gur gyi gon po. English: the Great Vajra Black One, Lord of the Pavilion), special protector of the Hevajra cycle of teachings and principal protector of the Sakya Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. This form of Mahakala arises from the 18th chapter of the Vajrapanjara exclusive explanatory tantra. The Vajrapanajara Tantra is exclusive to the Hevajra Root Tantra whereas a tantra such as the Samputa is an explanatory tantra shared between the Hevajra and Chakrasamvara (and Yogini) root literature.
The unique iconographic feature of Panjaranata Mahakala as described in the Vajrapanjara Tantra and according to the special Lamdre literature of the Sakya Tradition is that he has no ghandi stick laying horizontally across the forearms. In the other more common Sakya traditions of Panjara Mahakala, such as the Three Deity, Eight Deity etc., he is generally depicted with the ghandi 'stick of emanation.' There are other exceptions to this ghandi stick rule but they are rare and not commonly found in art. The two main exceptions are for the Nagarjuna lineage form and the Ngog lineage form of Panjarnata.
As with most things related to Tantric Buddhism, there is some confusion regarding the name of this Mahakala. Specifically, the name 'panjara' or 'panjarnata' is referring to deities described in the Vajrapanjara Tantra. Therefore this form of Mahakala is the Vajrapanjara or Panjara form. However, generally speaking, there are other descriptions of this same form of Mahakala found in other tantras such as the Twenty-five Chapter and Fifty Chapter Mahakala Tantras. So, how are we to understand this? Now it comes down to appearance. If the Mahakala form has one face and two hands, squat, holding a curved knife and skullcup at the heart, and generally (but not always) holding a ghandi stick across the forearms, then it is said colloquially and in Tibetan literature that this is Panjaranata Mahakala, or the panjara form of Mahakala despite the original source text. It is likely that this came about because the Vajrapanjara Tantra and the Hevajra Tantra were so well known as early Tantric literary works and practice traditions. Because the panjara name was so well known and represented the one face, two armed, form of Mahakala, it is therefore most likely that the name panjara came to be applied to all forms of Mahakala that had this same appearance.
Alternate Names: Vajra Panjara, Vajra Panjarnata, Panjara, Panjarnata, Panjara Mahakala, Panjarnata Mahakala.
Panjarnata Main Page
Panjarnata Outline Page
Monday, November 30, 2009
Sachen Kunga Nyingpo
Dzongsar Khyentse Chokyi Lodro
Kedrub Kyungpo Naljor
Also see the Religious Traditions Section for:
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Drogmi Lotsawa Shakya Yeshe
Dzongsar Khyentse Jamyang Chokyi Lodro (Also look to the biography of Chokyi Lodro, by Dhongtok Rinpoche, in the Bodhi Magazine of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche).
Monday, November 16, 2009
This may seem at first to be unrelated or a departure from the study of the Sakya Tradition but it is not. In the summer of 2008 I spent a month in the Mustang Region of Nepal with a National Geographic sponsored film crew to investigate previously inaccessible caves filled with ancient artifacts, texts, and Buddhist and Bon cave murals. The cave murals were primarily Sakya in origin and span the 14th to 16th centuries.
In one cave complex called Mardzong, just south of the town of Lo Monthang, in the upper chambers a stash of 14th and 15th century manuscripts were discovered - after collating, amounting to thirty large Tibetan volumes. Predominantly belonging to the Bon religion, the remaining texts were Sakya and many of them relating to the Sakya system of Lamdre.
Furthermore, Mustang is the last remaining Sakya Kingdom in the world, although also containing a smattering of Nyingma and Bon communities. Two of the main temples in the capital walled town of Lo Monthang, in Upper Mustang, are a treasure of murals in the tradition of the great Tibetan murals of the Sakya Monasteries of Gyantse, Shalu and Sakya. For Sakya Art History Lo Monthang is equally important for the study of mandalas and the Tantric systems of Maha Vairochana and Sarvavid Vairochana, along with the visual culture of other Yoga Tantra systems.
If you have access to North American Television please tune in to PBS, November 18th, 8:00 p.m., to watch the National Geographic Special, Secrets of Shangri-La.
"Tune in to PBS November 18th, 8:00 p.m., to watch the National Geographic Special, Secrets of Shangri-La (http://www.pbs.org/secretsofshangrila/). To see a trailer for the program, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRLyJbt6wvs."
Cast of Characters:
Liesl Clark: Director, Project Co-leader
Pete Athans: Chief Climber, Project Co-leader
Brot Coburn: Project Co-leader
Didi Thunder: Support Treks Mastermind
Renan Ozturk: Climber, Video, Draftsperson
Kris Erickson: Climber, Photographer
Sukrasagar Shrestha: Archaeologist
Mohan Singh Lama: Archaeologist
Prakash Darnal: Archaeologist
Dr. Mark Aldenderfer: Archaeologist
Dr. Charles Ramble: Anthropologist
Sirish Bhatt: Caves Draftsperson
Karl Swingle: HDV Camera
Edgar Boyles: HD Camera
Morgan Boyles: HDV Camera
Jean Dunoyer: Editor
Jaime Dunoyer: Assistant Editor
Luigi Fieni: Art Conservator, Photographer
Jeff Watt: Art Historian
Ian Alsop: Art History Advisor
Angela Simons: Archaeologist
Jiban Ghimire: Agent, Fixer
Ted Hesser: Climber
Jay Adams: Assistant Camera
Jyoti Rana: Sound
Korynn Rielly Kirchwey: Motion Graphics
Pixeldust Studios: Animation
Anne De Salles: Anthropologist
Olivia Ramble: Pecha Archivist
Charlotte Ramble: Pecha Archivist
Phoebe Coburn: Pecha Archivist
Tsewang Bista: Cultural Advisor
Indra Bista: Cultural Advisor
Ang Temba Sherpa: Sirdar
Tashi Wangyal: Horseman
Friday, November 13, 2009
The Bodhi Magazine put out by the organization of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche has published an issue dedicated to the Sakya Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. It is full of interesting teachings and histories. The most important section is probably the new translation of a rare Virupa biography. It was recently translated by Cyrus Stearns of Seattle, Washington. Dhongtok Rinpoche has also provided a biography of his teacher Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro. The entire issue is well worth looking at. They plan on publishing an issue dedicated to each of the four major schools - Sakya is the second of these issues.
Friday, October 30, 2009
There are too many people in China using the SRG site to have it hobbled by international politics. Several different options will be looked at before deciding on a remedy. This blog accessibility problem will be a priority for the next few weeks.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
The SRG has had no recent updates because I am still away in China. Currently I am at Wutaishan Mountain the most holy location for the bodhisattva/deity Manjushri in China.
Luding Khenpo is also here and we spent the day along with a small group of students touring the main sites on the valley floor in the morning. In the afternoon we climbed the stairs to one temple to see a shrine presenting all five forms of Manjushri associated with each of the five peaks. The concept of five Manjushri forms and five peaks is said in the Tibetan tradition to be created by Chogyal Pagpa the preceptor to Kublai Khan of the Yuan dynasty. It is also said that Chogyal Pagpa was physically involved with the construction of the main stupa at Wutaishan.
Google blogs are not generally accessible in China and I won't be able to post images until I return to Hong Kong or New York on Friday. Don't ask me how I was able to post this entry. The internet has many country roads and back alleys.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
There are numerous sites that are special for the Sakya Tradition. The side temples of the Aniko Stupa in Beijing follow a Sakya iconography, namely the Marpo Kor Sum of the Thirteen Golden Dharmas. There is also rumoured to be a Mahakala Temple built at the time of Chogyal Pagpa and the Nepalese (Newar) artist Aniko. The central image was Panjarnata Mahakala the principal Buddhist protector of the Mongol Khans (and the Sakya Tradition) from the time of Kublai Khan. The giant, bigger than life size, sculpture is said to have disappeared during the Boxer Revolution in about 1900 but the temple is still standing although not open to the public. I heard that it is just outside of the Palace Museum at the south-west corner. I will try and visit this location and take some photos of the architectural structure. If the rumours are true it is possible that it was erected at the time of Chogyal Pagpa and perhaps under his direction.
To learn more about Buddhist and Tibetan art see the Beijing Quick Guide.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
All forms of Arapachana Manjushri are peaceful in appearance. There are also many other forms of Manjushri that are peaceful but do not use the Name Arapachana or the arapachana mantra. Also, not all forms of Manjushri are peaceful. The principal examples of semi-wrathful and wrathful appearance are Black Manjushri as semi and then the many forms of Vajrabhairava, Krishna Yamari, Rakta Yamari and Manjushri Nagaraksha.
On the illustrated example page provided above there are four additional images of Manjushri related to Arapachana. These are found on a mandala painting of Vagishvari Dharmadhatu. The painting depicts twenty-three peaceful forms of Manjushri, three wrathful forms known as Yamari, and three mandalas in total.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Sakya Pandita wrote a four line praise to Dragpa Gyaltsen addressing him as Manjunatha - the Lord Manjushri. However, this praise was not used or directed towards Dragpa Gyaltsen by Sakya Pandita's students but rather directed to Sakya Pandita himself who had become even more famous as a Manjushri emanation. Even today in the Sakya School this is the main praise/prayer addressed to Sapan.
And compassionately achieving the good of all beings;
Having power performing acts beyond thought.
Guru Manjunata, to your feet I bow my head."
(Written by Sakya Pandita).
Padmasambhava made predictions about the rise of the Sakya Tradition and the holy location of the large patch of white earth at the place known as 'sakya.' Later, Jowo Atisha also made predictions when seeing the famous 'sakya' location and elaborated by saying that in the future there would be an emanation of Avalokiteshvara, Vajrapani and many Manjushri emanations arising from this geographic location. In Tibet the Sakya School also became known as the Manjushri Tradition. Generally, all male members of the Khon family, the hereditary leaders of the Sakya School, are each regarded as Manjushri emanations.
The three main Manjushri practices in Sakya are the (1) Arapachana (orange or white), (2) White (Sita) and (3) Black (Krishna) Manjushris. The function of the first two Manjushris is in the generation of knowledge, memory and ultimately the two forms of wisdom, prajna (sherab) and jnana (yeshe). Black Manjushri, included in the Thirteen Golden Dharmas, is for removing serious obstacles, hindrances, sickness and disease not curable or alleviated through other means.
The Arapachana form of Manjushri has a small number of different variations along with an orange version and a white version. The white form appears to be the original colour for Arapachana. It is not clear when or why the orange form developed and became the more popular form of the deity. There is the practice of the single deity and then there is the Mandala of Five Deities - Manjushri at the center surrounded by four accompanying figures. Even though Arapachana is classified as both a Kriya and Charya Tantra practice there is early evidence from the Bari Gyatsa of Bari Lotsawa Rinchen Drag that there were Perfection Stage (dzog rim) practices used to accompany the Generation Stage (kye rim) Deity Yoga. Perfection Stage techniques were generally a unique practice and characteristic of the Anuttaryoga Classification of Buddhist Tantra. The Sakya Tradition classifies the Manjushri Root Tantra, Manjushri Mulakalpa, as a Charya Tantra. (See a short essay on Tantra Classification).
The significant physical characteristics of Arapachana are the blue sword of wisdom held upraised in the right hand and the Prajnaparamita supported on an utpala blossom held in the left hand. Some forms of Arapachana describe him with the two hands in the Dharma Teaching gesture at the heart while holding the stems of two blue utpala flowers supporting the wisdom sword and Prajnaparamita book. The blue utpala flower is not a lotus. It is thought by some Western experts to be a blue lily flower.
Older archaic forms of Manjushri, depicted in painting and sculpture, place the Prajnaparamita text held to the heart in the left hand. A good example of the archaic form is the sculpture belonging to the late Dezhung Rinpoche Tenpai Nyima, previously belonging to Ngagwang Legpa Rinpoche. This form is also most often seen in early Indian, Kashmiri and Tibetan sculpture. Since the 15th or 16th centuries this variation is rarely described in the liturgical or practice manuals. See a brief explanation of the iconographic features of Arapachana. However, the most common and iconic form of Manjushri is when he is depicted holding the wisdom sword upraised to the sky, ready to cleave, symbolically severing the roots of ignorance. This is the form of the deity that is commonly practiced by the teachers of the past and the students and practitioners of today. The most special and profound practice is called the Sakya Uncommon Orange Arapachana Manjushri.
My favorite image of the deity which was also the form I was first introduced to many years ago was published by the London Buddhist Society (shown above). I am not sure who owns the actual painting, possibly the Society or perhaps the V & A Museum in London. The image here is a scan from the old folding note card. I believe what is well depicted here is the most important characteristic of the Arapachana form. That characteristic is the subtle right twist in the body created from the raising of the right arm holding the sword of wisdom. When this twist which occurs naturally is not depicted then the result is a very stiff and unnatural looking form (try it yourself while looking in the mirror). A big part of the charm of Arapachana is this youthful dexterity and suppleness described as a characteristic of the Indian deva and devi (gods and goddesses) forms found in classical Indian literature - a basis for Buddhsit Tantric texts. An important epithet for Manjushri is kumara, meaning youthful, Kumara Manjushri, or Kumarabhuta Arapachana Manjushri.
Manjushri Main Page on HAR
Manjushri Outline Page on HAR
Manjushri Tantra Classifications on HAR
Exhibition: Wutaishan, Pilgrimage to Five Peak Mountain
Wutaishan, Pilgrimage to the Five Peaked Mountain (asianart.com)
Origins of Manjushri
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
There are other good forms such as HAR #61139. The posture of this Yogini is a little more standard. Paintings like HAR #81541 are great as well because they have all of the lineage teachers portrayed above and the two other yoginis from the Marmo Korsum at the sides. This is not so unusual to see. However, this painting is particularly nice because it has the Sakya Trizin at the bottom left corner along with his son and seated in the right corner is his wife. The first of these paintings belongs to a private collection in New York State and the second belongs to a private collection in Washington, D.C.
Painting HAR #98956 is also quite good unfortunately we do not have a large image that we can look at. The form of the deity is well balanced. It has a shape similar to the painting of HAR #290 as shown above. This painting belongs to the Hahn Cultural Foundation in Seoul, Korea.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
I will offer two candidates, the first is Bhutadamara Vajrapani from the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Of all the forms of Bhutadamara as a central figure this one appears to me to be the most animate, the most correct proportionally, and the most visually pleasing. Many of the forms don't quite look right. A common problem with many Bhutadamara paintings is that the two main arms extending to the sides are often too short. That is not an issue here. However, in this Natural History Museum image the left hand holding the vajra lasso seems more upraised than usual, but that is fine. There is nothing iconographically wrong with this. The Dege Parkhang line drawing of Bhutadamara is close in form to the image above but just doesn't have the animation and life that the Natural History painting has.
Why is Bhutadamara important in the Sakya tradition? This form of Vajrapani is described in chapter two of the Vajrapanjara Tantra, an exclusive explanatory Tantra to the Hevajra Root Tantra in Two Sections. Vajrapani with four arms is a special deity method for removing obstacles at the outset of Tantric practice and most specifically for practitioners of Shri Hevajra. In the Sakya Tradition any serious practice of Hevajra would be framed within the Lamdre system. Bhutadamara therefore is an essential practice for Lamdre and a required retreat, a minimum of one month in duration, prior to embarking on a six month Hevajra retreat. Again, within the Sakya Tradition Bhutadamara is generally recommended as an uncommon preliminary practice prior to other retreats and serious endevours such as Chakrasamvra, Vajrayogini and the other complex Anuttarayoga meditation practices.
Bhutadamara is not commonly depicted as a central figure in a painting. He is more often included amongst the secondary figures surrounding either Shri Hevajra or Panjaranata Mahakala in one of those two more popular painted compositions.
View all Bhutadamara images.
For practices other than Hevajra it is also suitable to do the practice and retreat of Nila Achala, blue in colour, and in a kneeling posture [see Outline Page]. Lobpon Sonam Tsemo wrote a long commentary on the practice of Nila Achala which is considered definitive even in these later times.
My second candidate for the best visual form, at the risk of being accused of cheating, is a Hevajra Torma Offering depiction in the Rubin Museum of Art. The reason it could be considered cheating is because it is the only one that I know of that exists. Even Sakya Lamas have been surprised when they see the image for the first time. It is not common to paint the front visualization for the Hevajra Torma ritual. The painting is extremely clear in its detail. When reading the Tibetan text and looking at the image at the same time everything in the iconography makes sense. The text was definitely the basis for the composition.
These are my two choices that I offer up as being the best visual models for those two specific subjects in Deity Yoga meditation. Do you have better examples? Do you have other visual forms you think should be highlighted, compared and discussed?
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Upon my return to New York I will work to create a better image of the poster and remove some of the background noise created by scanning. A large format image can then be posted to the Himalayan Art Resources site. After that we can create a duplicate image of the Refuge Field and number all of the figures in the composition (lamas, deities, protectors). Then we can design an English language key for all of the names following the correct lineage chronology. Possibly a colour coding system can be employed where the three distinct Guru Lineages presented in the composition are differentiated. The deities can be treated with a different colour, as with the Thirty-five Confession Buddhas. Along the bottom, in an upward turning arch, the wrathful protectors can have there own distinguishing colour treatment making them stand apart from the other distinct groupings of figures.
Complex and layered compositions such as this are best simplified and decoded using a combination of overlaying names, numbers and colours. (See the example of the yoga postures in a Vajradhara & Eighty-four Mahasiddha painting and also see the Kalachakra and Vajravali Deities).
(Click on the image to get an idea of the detail. Download a 1.2 meg medium sized image. Download a 3.8 meg large sized image).
Refuge Field or Field of Accumulation Paintings:
See Field of Accumulation Outline Page on the HAR site
See Sakya Field of Accumulation Paintings
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
In March 2009 when I went to visit Sakya Trizin Rinpoche in Dehradun, and as I was patiently sitting in the waiting room prior to an audience, I noticed that all of the group photos of past Lamdre Teachings, given by Sakya Trizin, were framed and hung on the walls of the rather small room. They were not in any chronological sequence and not all were labeled. It was a guessing game. All that I could be sure about was which Lamdres and in which years that I personally had attended. The 1980 and 2000 group photos were accounted for but there was no sign of a photo for the 1975 Lamdre, the 2nd Lamdre that Rinpoche ever gave, after giving his 1st Lamdre teaching at Sarnath in the late 1960s. Also, there did not appear to be an obvious blank space or gap on any of the walls where a framed photo might have hung. It was a mystery!
Only minutes after that, during my time with Rinpoche I asked him why there was no group photo of the 1975 Lamdre hanging on the wall in the waiting room. He turned to me and said "There is no photo of the Rajpur Lamdre?" He also seemed puzzled. He left the room that we were in to go and look, I followed. Indeed, there was no 1975 group photo on the wall in the waiting room. We looked at other photos and reminisced for a minute or two; it might not have been that long. We left it at that, having more interesting things to talk about, rather than spending time with nostalgia and brief trips down memory lane.
Later however, this waiting room experience got me thinking about where my old photographs from India in the 1970s were. Well, a few days ago and five months later, in Vancouver I found the 1975 Lamdre group photograph and a number of others from the same time period and event. All of course are in black and white as was the standard for India at that time.
So, here it is, the missing photograph, not nearly as refined and elegant as those later Kodak and Fujichrome group photos. But it didn't need to be, remember, it was at this Lamdre where most of the young Sakya Lamas, prominent today, such as Luding Khenpo and Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche received their first Lamdre teachings and empowerments. The first Sakya College students from Mussoorie, the original location, were in attendance. Many of the young monks seated in the foreground of the photo are today the ones in charge of Sakya Monastery in Rajpur, or have gone on to become graduates of Sakya College, or become abbots, or have built, or become leaders in, other monasteries and centers throughout Asia and the rest of the world. It was a Lamdre full of promise, and a Lamdre to remember!
The top left photograph is the full group shot. The close-up is of Sakya Trizin with Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche standing to the left (on the right of Sakya Trizin) and Luding Shabdrung below that to the left (now he is Luding Khenpo). Directly behind is Chiwang Tulku with Zimwog Rinpoche at the lower right and Sherpa Tulku again to the right. In the upper right corner is Gyalse Rinpoche who unfortunately passed away unexpectedly in Australia some years ago.
The lower photo is a detail of me with a very white complexion. Slightly below and to the left is Sangye-la, dressed in lay attire and wearing a turtle-neck sweater. He was the main attendant of Sakya Trizin for as long as anybody can remember. So there you have it, the missing Lamdre group photo of 1975, but where is the group photo from the first Lamdre in Sarnath?
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Simhanada is included as one of the practices in the Thirteen Golden Dharmas of Sakya. It was considered important by the early teachers and kept safe as one of the special practices passed down by Bari Lotsawa Rinchen Drag to Sachen Kunga Nyingpo (1092-1158).
Originally taught by the Indians Chandragomi and Suvarnadvipa, it entered Tibet in the 11th century with Rinchen Zangpo, Jowo Atisha, Bari Lotsawa and others. The deity form and meditation practices are now found in all traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. A stone sculpture relief of the deity can also be found carved on a rock face in Hangzhou, China, at the edge of the Pacific Ocean. Simhanada Lokeshvara was popularized in Mongolia and China by Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyaltsen (1182-1251) when he cured Godan Khan of leprosy using the special healing techniques of Simhanada Lokeshvara.
See the Simhanada Lokeshvara Outline Page on the HAR website.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
See Magzorma Outline Page.
Magzorma is one of the Sakya protectors whose rituals are done on a daily basis in all Sakya and Ngor Monasteries. She is the special protector for the Puntsok Podrang of the Khon Family and also for the Luding Labrang of Ngor Ewam Monastery. A similar two armed form of Shri Devi known as Dorje Rabtenma is the special protector of Shalu Monastery.
In Sakya the most important Shri Devi is Dudsolma with one face and four hands riding a mule. She is the companion of Panjarnata Mahakala and both of these figures are considered offspring of Ekajati (no not the Nyingma one-eyed, one-toothed Ekajati). Coming out of a different narrative tradition, Magzorma is either the younger sister or a servant of Dudsolma.
See the Himalayan Art Resources website for a longer essay on Shri Devi Magzor Gyalmo and a new Magzorma Outline Page.
Monday, September 7, 2009
On the HAR website the Sakya Main Page has been updated with a short passage by Dzongsar Khyentse Chokyi Lodro and a slightly revised version of the SRG Sakya History essay that I did years ago: Sakya History.
A new Ngorchen Kunga Zangpo Outline Page has been added: Ngorchen Outline.
A new Ngor Tradition Outline, which is really at the beginning stages, with a lot more to be added: Ngor Tradition.
A separate page for the Lama Dampa Sonam Gyaltsen Vajravali mandala painting set has been added. Learn more about the Vajravali, its history and art. When Khyabgon Sakya Trizin gives the Kalachakra initiation, such as for the opening ceremonies of the Ani Gompa in Dekyi Ling this past April, then he used the Vajravali version of the initiation. (See one of the best examples and possibly the oldest Vajravali painting known).
Saturday, March 28, 2009
The image above is a prayer to Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyaltsen composed by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo. It is designed as a visual diagram that can be read in almost every direction. It is very large and painted at the entrance way to the old Dzongsar Institute main temple which is now Deer Park Institute. A new Dzongsar Institute has been built a few kilometers away. There are two other prayers done in the same way, a Shakyamuni and a Longchenpa prayer. I will upload these to the HAR database when I return to New York.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Saturday, March 7, 2009
TBRC has a new Blog addition to their website. The website overall is intended for an academic audience as well as Tibetan Lamas and teachers. It is essentially written in Tibetan language or Wylie transliteration. The Blog is a great addition to the site by allowing everybody an insight into the workings of this vast bibliographic database.
Sakya Resource Centre: (NOT the Sakya Resource Guide). "The present site is devoted to the study of the Sakya school, one of the major religious traditions within Tibetan Buddhism. Launched by dedicated students (undergraduate and doctoral) of Tibetan studies who do research on prominent Sakyapa masters (see also Current Research Projects), the website provides access to scholarly resources and distributes free e-texts that are useful for religious-historical research on the Sakya tradition and its representatives. It highlights valuable research tools that are available via the web, and has begun to host a collection of significant texts in digital form. At present, our inputted text material focuses on the Sakyapa-s during the late fourteenth and fifteenth century, a period characterized by a still-ongoing doctrical exchange between the different traditions that gave rise to numerous saints and scholars. In future, we aim to provide a comprehensive research platform and plan to extend our text input activity and cooperation with researchers and institutions in order to build up a free digital text archive for research and reference into the Sakya tradition."
"For questions or suggestions pertaining to this website, please contact the Sakya Resource Centre at email@example.com. We also ask you to contact us if you notice any errors in the e-texts." (Taken from the SRC Home page).
Monday, March 2, 2009
All of the Mongolian images from the Rinjung Lhantab are slowly being uploaded and catalogued. This is a complete illuminated text currently belonging to the Volkerkundemuseum der Universitat Zurich, Switzerland and the same subject matter as contained in the publication Buddhist Iconography by Lokesh Chandra.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Tibetology and Buddhism).
WSTB No. 68. Jowita Kramer "A noble Abbot from Mustang. Life and
Works of Glo-bo mKhan-chen (1456-1532)" (2008) 334p. ISBN:
978-3-902501-07-3. EUR 26.00
WSTB No. 69. Pascale Hugon "Trésors du raisonnement. Sa skya
Pan dita et ses prédécesseurs tibétains sur les modes de
fonctionnement de la pensée et le fondement de l'inférence" Édition et
traduction annotée du quatrième chapitre et d'une section du dixième
chapitre du Tshad ma rigs pa'i gter (2008) 2 vols; 854p. ISBN:
978-3-902501-08-0. EUR 52.50
Orders can be placed at the WSTB website.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
We are trying to give the HAR website and staff a higher profile so that we can be in a better position for grant applications and fund-raising. We live in difficult financial times and New York, the epicenter of North American finance, seems to be hit harder than other places. This is probably because it is also the center of financial corruption. On a positive note, New York is also the museum capital of the world and probably has more Himalayan and Tibetan art than any other city in the Western world. See the New York City Outline Page.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
After many years of leading a quiet life away from the spotlight Zimwock Rinpoche of the Tsar sub-school of Sakya (biography) has returned. Zimwock Tenzin Trinley Ling has been established as Rinpoche's seat in Kathmandu, Nepal. Zimwock and Chogye are the two principal Labrangs (houses) of Nalendra Monastery (history) in Phanpo, Tibet. The previous Zimwock was regarded as a Mahakala emanation and passed away in Dharmsala, India, in 1963. (For more information please see the biography of Chogye Tri Rinpoche. Also see the Project to Rebuild Nalendra Monastery).
Saturday, January 3, 2009
A new section listing Search Engines has been added to the Links Page. I always find it amazing that the different search engines can serve up such different results. On Google the SRG site usually comes up in the top five. On the Yahoo search engine I am lucky if the SRG is in the top two hundred listings. Sometimes the technology seems quite random. However, the technology and hard drive space supporting the image search engines are quite interesting and they produce vast results, almost overwhelming. They open up a new window onto the visual culture of Sakya, the teachers and students, rituals, monasteries, sacred landscape and architecture. The only thing missing is a good editor.
There are some interesting old photos of Sakya worth looking at especially in light of the extensive renovations that have been done at Sakya Monastery (Lhakang Chenmo) in the last few years.