Explaining Gelug Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism

Explaining Gelug Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism

The is the newest of the schools of . It was founded by a philosopher and . Gelug Lineage’s field for the Accumulation of Merit with Tsongkapa at the Center is surrounded by the incarnation lineage above and with meditational deities, Confession , and protectors below.

In the Gelug Tradition of Tibetan , there are numerous Refuge Field types distinguished both by the central figure and also by the support.

The first three types are depicted at the peak of a wish-fulfilling tree, seated on a and lotus. The fourth type is placed only on a lotus blossom.

The two general types of central figures for all types of Refuge Fields are Buddha and Je Tsongkapa. The variation of the two subject figures depends on the intention, purpose, and function of the .

The former is a Chopa (Shakyamuni) Refuge Field and the latter a Lineage (Tsongkapa) Refuge Field. The various Gelug Refuge Fields are a 17th-century development based on the 15th and 16th-century compositions of Tsongkapa and the and lineages.

from those five general types of Gelug Refuge Fields, there are also three miscellaneous types. The first of the miscellaneous types

  1. The first is the depictions of the Qianglong Emperor of portrayed either as a royal figure or as a monastic. He is pictured at the center of a painted composition, surrounded by the figures, deities, and protectors typical of the Gelug Tradition.
  2. The second is an unusual subject, not completely understood, but likely to be, a set of seven drawn in the composition of a refuge field painting (with a tree as the support). The central subject of each of the paintings is a single buddha surrounded by the One Thousand Buddhas of the Age.
  3. The third type of Refuge Field is the Custom Subject Field where any Lama, buddha, or deity is placed at the center.

The Gelug school was also called the “New Kadam” because it saw itself a revival of the Kadam school founded by . The Gelug emerged as the pre-eminent school in and Mongolia since the end of the 16th century.

Earlier we learn about the life of the Gelug Lineage. Now we are going to learn about depicting Gelug Lineage.

Depicting Gelug Lineage Thangka

The of Gelug Lineage is from Tibet. It is made in between 1700 AD to 1799 AD. The size of the painting is 101.60×67.31cm. The base of the painting is Mineral Pigmen and fine gold on is used to color it. Currently, this painting is in the .

By depicting this thangka we will learn about the presentation Gelug Lineage with Religious Figures.

The multitude of religious figures is presented as if seated in a tree rising from a blue pond below at the bottom of the composition in the thangka. This thangka is created from a block print image. The viewer sees it as figures arrayed on one side of a green leafy tree placed from top to bottom.

This is an artistic representation. Textually it is described with Tsongkapa at the top of the tree seated on a throne and the array of figures are depicted surrounding him on a horizontal plane rather than the artistic representation of a vertical plane.

The design for this Refuge Field was created by Konchog Gyaltsen during the of the . The thangka was then carved onto a broad and flat length of , inked and then used to make cloth and woodblock prints.

Earlier we learn about the life of the Gelug Lineage. and depicting Gelug Lineage. Now we are going to learn about Gelug Lineage .

Gelug Lineage with Manjushri Thangka

Gelug Lineage with Manjushri was painted around 1800-1899 AD. The size of this painting is 30.48×22.86cm. The base of the painting is cotton and the ground mineral pigment and fine gold are used to color it.  This Masterpiece is still preserved and kept in the Rubin of .

By depicting this thangka, we will learn about the presentation of Gelug Lineage.

Shakyamuni Buddha is the One of the Clan. The Gelugpa Field of the Accumulation of Merit with the teachers of the lineage of on the upper left.

Manjushri is on the upper right of the thangka. Deities, buddhas, and are placed below along with the protectors at the bottom.

Earlier we learn about the life of the Gelug Lineage, depicting Gelug Lineage. and representation of  Gelug Lineage Manjushri. Now we are going to learn about the presentation of Gelug Lineage with Pratyeta Buddha.

Gelug Lineage with Pratyeta Buddha Thangka

Gelug Lineage with Pratyeta Buddha was painted around 1700-1799 AD.  The base of the painting is cotton and the ground mineral pigment is used to color it.  This Masterpiece Thangka Art is from a private collection

By depicting this thangka, we are going to learn about the presentation of Gelug Lineage with Maitreya and Manjushri.

Tsongkapa is at the center of the thangka. Tsongkapa is with students depicted below followed in descending order by meditational deities, Buddhas, ,  arhats,  Dakas and protector deities and deities.

Above Tsongkapa are a number of figures representing the abbreviated Indian and Tibetan teacher lineages of practices that were transmitted to Tsongkapa.

Maitreya and Manjushri

Maitreya is at the top left side of the thangka, there is an in the Tushita heaven. Manjushri is at the top right side of the thangka.

In the cloud cluster to the middle left side of the thangka, there is Maitreya and the teacher lineage of the Yogachara school of Indian . In the cloud cluster to the right are Manjushri and the teacher lineage for the Madyamaka philosophical system.

Earlier we learn about the life of the Gelug Lineage, depicting Gelug Lineage, representation of  Gelug Lineage Manjushri, and representation of Gelug Lineage with Pratyeta Buddha. Now we are going to learn about Gelug Lineage with Shakyamuni Buddha.

Gelug Lineage with Shakyamuni Buddha Thangka

Gelug Lineage with Shakyamuni Buddha was painted around 1800-1899 AD. The size of the painting is 63.50×41.28cm. The base of the painting is cotton and the ground mineral pigment is used to color it.  This Masterpiece Thangka Art is from the Rubin Museum of Art.

By depicting this thangka, we are going to learn about the presentation of Gelug Lineage.

At the center of the thangka, there is Shakyamuni Buddha surrounded by lineage teachers, , meditational deities, protectors, and deities -the Field for the Accumulation of Merit. This thangka and a number of others labeled as Gelug Refuge Field Shakyamuni appear to have been created using a common model or possibly a woodblock print model.

In the Gelug Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, there are numerous Refuge Field composition types distinguished both by the central figure and also by support Shakyamuni Buddha, (2) Je Tsongkapa,  Pabongka Design, and  Lotus Support, and Block Print. The first three types are depicted at the peak of a wish-fulfilling tree, seated on a throne and lotus. The fourth type is placed only on a lotus blossom.

The two general types of central figures for all types of Refuge Fields are Shakyamuni Buddha and Je Tsongkapa. The variation of the two subject figures depends on the intention, purpose, and function of the .

The former is a Lama Chopa Shakyamuni Refuge Field and the latter a Lamrim Lineage Tsongkapa Refuge Field. The various sections of the refuge field have been numbered according to hierarchy and colored only for purposes of contrast and separation. The descriptions and explanations below follow the numbered hierarchy.

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