Explaining Lama Teacher Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyaltsen
The Viability of Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyaltsen
In this portion, we are going to talk about the life of Sakya PanditaKunga Gyeltsen. After a short etymological description of the word Sakya PanditaKunga Gyeltsen itself, we will review his Sanskrit lecture and beyond. Finally, we will learn about Sakya and Ngor traditions.
Etymology of Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyaltsen
He is the fourth Sakya Forefather and sixth Sakya Trizin and one of the most important figures in the Sakya lineage.
He is held in the tradition to have been an emanation of Manjusri, the embodiment of the wisdom of all the Buddhas.
After that, he also known as a great scholar in Tibet, Mongolia, China and India and was proficient in the five great sciences of Buddhist philosophy, medicine, grammar, dialectics, and sacred Sanskrit literature as well as the minor sciences of rhetoric, synonymies, poetry, dancing, and astrology.
Sakya and Ngor traditions
It became customary in and around the 15th century within the Sakya and Ngor traditions to have a set of Lamdre lineage paintings commissioned prior to the several month-long cycles of instructions and initiations into that system of tantric theory and practice.
It is also common to depict in every single composition a complete secondary lineage such as in this painting having the Guhyasamaja lineage surrounding the two central Lamdre teachers.
Iconography of the Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyaltsen
In the iconography of the Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyaltsen, we will learn about her body posture, hand and leg gesture, and different representations of the Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyaltsen in thangka and statue.
Posture of Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyaltsen
Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyaltsen is on the left side and his nephew Chogyal Papa is seated on the right side and surrounded by the lineage teachers of the Guhyasamaja Tantra; Akshobhyavajra, Manjuvajra, and Avalokita.
The thangka belongs to a larger set of paintings with the greatest likelihood being that of a Lamdre lineage set.
His two hands are held in the teaching gesture while holding the stems of two Utpala flowers supporting a sword and book.
Depicting Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyaltsen Thangka
The thangka of Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyaltsen is from Central Tibet. It is made in between 1400 AD to 1499 AD. Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyaltsen is from Ngor, Sakya, and Buddhist lineage.
Presently, this painting is in Shelley & Donald Rubin.
Manjuvajra Guhyasamaja is between the two and slightly above is who is orange in color.
Above the head of Sakya Pandita, there is Akshobhyavajra Guhyasamaja who is blue in color.
Above Chogyal Pagpa, there is Avalokiteshvara Guhyasamaja who is red in color.
At the top left and moving towards the right of the thangka, there is the lineage of the Guhyasamaja practice and initiation lineage.
The Guhyasamaja Lineage of Jnanapada which are as listed below
- Arya Manjushri
- Acharya Buddha Jnana
- Marmedze Zangpo
- Shri Deva
- Lama Pendapa
- Lama Nyen Lotsawa
- Lama Nang Kaupa
- The Lord of Dharma Sakyapa.
Sakya Pandita with Vajradhara Thangka
In a perfect pose similar to a buddha Sakya Pandita performs the Dharma Teaching mudra with the two hands placed at the heart while holding the stems of two Utpala flowers blossoming to the sides supporting the sword of wisdom and the Prajnaparamita book.
Sakya Pandita is fully attired in the robes of an ordained monk having proven worthy. Sakya Pandita wears the hat of a Pandita.
Primordial Buddha Vajradhara
Primordial Buddha Vajradhara is at the top center of the thangka. Primordial Buddha Vajradhara has held a vajra and bell crossed at the heart.
Vajradhara is wearing jewels and silk garments.
Female Goddess Nairatmya
Female Goddess Nairatmya is at the right of the thangka. Nairatmya is holding upraised a curved knife in the right hand and a skullcup in the lap.
Below is the Mahasiddha Kanhapa who is with the right hand in the mudra of blessing and holding a skullcup in the left.
Wrathful Bodhisattva Vajrapani
Pandita and Mahasiddha Gayadhara
The Pandita and Mahasiddha Gayadhara touches the seat with the right hand and holds a book in the left.
Mahasiddha Virupa and Damarupa
Descending at the left the Mahasiddha Virupa performs the Dharma Teaching mudra with the two hands at the heart.
The wrathful tutelary deity Hevajra with eight faces and sixteen hands stands in a dancing posture surrounded by the flames of pristine awareness.
Along the bottom of the thangka, there are three wrathful protectors.
At the center of the thangka, there is Panjarnata Mahakala who is with one face and two hands holding a curved knife and skullcup to the heart supporting a horizontal stick across the forearms.
Shri Devi and Dumo Remati
At the right of the thangka, there is a form of the wrathful female protector Shri Devi, Dumo Remati, with one face and two hands holding a spear in the right and a heart in the left and riding on a mule.
Damchen Dorje Legpa
Damchen Dorje Legpa is at left who is with one face and two hands holding a vajra in the right and a heart in the left, riding a snow lion.
Sakya Pandita with Panjarnata Thangka
In the thangka, there are Sakya Pandita and Chogyal Pagpa.
Sakya Pandita and Chogyal Pagpa are accompanied by the Chakrasamvara lineage teachers.
This is a tentative identification based on the lineage teachers above and the protector deities of Panjarnata and Shri Devi below.
Sakya Pandita with Manjushri Thangka
In the thangka, there is Sakya Pandita, Kunga Gyaltsen Pal Zangpo who is known as the sixth throne holder of Sakya debating with the Indian Tirtika Harinanda.
In a vigorous posture of the debate who is wearing a red Pandita hat and attired in the patched robes of a fully ordained monk.
Sakya Pandita performs the debating gestures of snapping the fingers of the right hand prior to clapping with the left.
In front of the lower right, there sits the naked Indian Harinanda who is brown in color with long twisted hair.
Indian Harinanda is seated on an antelope skin and attended by a servant with a white turban.
There is the patron deity of Sakya Pandita the bodhisattva Manjushri Stirachakra who is with one face and two hands and holding a wisdom sword and lotus supporting a Prajnaparamita book and seated within a glowing nimbus sphere of emanated light.
Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen
There are the root guru and uncle Jetsun Dragpa Gyalis at the right of the thangka.
Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen is holding a vajra extended in the right hand and a bell turned up at the waist in the left.
Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen is attired in the variously colored garments of a layman and seated on an ornate cushion with a backrest. He resides above gently spreading clouds.
There is the protector of the Guhyasamaja Tantra, Chaturmukha Mahakala at the left of the thangka.
Chaturmukha Mahakala is the wrathful visage of Brahmarupa Mahakala with four hands and charnel ground vestments of skins and bones.
He stands upon a corpse seat amidst the swirling flames of pristine awareness.