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Paintings > Thangka > Gurus > Pundit Tsong Khapa - The Great Tibetan Buddhist Monk, Scholar and Reformer of Tibetan Buddhism
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Pundit Tsong Khapa -  The Great Tibetan Buddhist Monk, Scholar and Reformer of Tibetan Buddhism

Pundit Tsong Khapa - The Great Tibetan Buddhist Monk, Scholar and Reformer of Tibetan Buddhism

Pundit Tsong Khapa - The Great Tibetan Buddhist Monk, Scholar and Reformer of Tibetan Buddhism

Tsong Khapa was a Tibetan religious leader and philosopher. He was born in 1357 and died in 1419. His name means "Man from Tsongka" or Onion Valley but he is also known as the Losang Drakpa or Je Rinpoche. His teachings were monumental in the formation of the Gelug tradition in Tibetan Buddhism. In his time, he was closely acquainted and learned with the Tibetan Buddhist schools where he received lineages from major schools, too. He is also the emanation of Buddhas Manjushri (wisdom), Chenrezig (compassion), and Vajrapani (skills).

Per tradition, Tsong Khapa is usually depicted wearing a tall hat, usually yellow, but in this thangka, it is colored in orange. He is the central figure in the Gelugpa sect in Tibet, the dominant sect in Tibet until the 1960s whose de facto spiritual leader is the Dalai Lama.

A close look at the painting shows Tsong Khapa sitting on a lotus throne while wearing three opulent monk’s robes. He is also depicted with a smiley face, which signals his state of mind.Zoom in on his hands and it shows a Dharmachakra mudra or the wheel of the mudra that symbolizes the Buddha’s first sermon after enlightenment. This gesture is also used to identify teachers in Buddhist art and is said to have been used to transform ignorance into reality. He holds a lotus stem on his left hand whose height is at the level of his ear. The blue lotus on his left side carries the scripture (Perfection of Wisdom with 8,000 lines) and a wish-granting jewel on top of it. The lotus flower on his right side appears to be carrying the Sword of Manjushri, a tool to cut down duality and ignorance. The lotus is pink which is the color of the flower reserved for the highest of deities.

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Size of Painted Surface 20.5 inch X 28.5 inch
Size with Brocade 29.0 inch X 45.0 inch
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