Worldly Protector Tsangpa Karpo
Tsangpa Karpo is a wrathful worldly protector of Tibet. Tsangpa Karpo was a dynasty that dominated large parts of Tibet from 1565 to 1642. It was the last Tibetan royal dynasty to rule in its own name.
The regime of Tsangpa Karpo was founded by Karma Tseten, a low-born retainer of the prince of the Rinpungpa Dynasty and governor of Shigatse in Tsang (West-Central Tibet) since 1548.
Tsangpa is known as gTsang pa in Tibet.
Table of Contents
Iconography of Tsangpa Karpo
In the iconography of Tsangpa Karpo, we are going to learn about his body posture, hand and leg gesture, and different representations of Tsangpa Karpo in thangka and statue.
Tsangpa Karpo is white in color and gold painted. Tsangpa Karpo is with one face and two hands. The right hand of Tsangpa Karpo is upraised and holds a curved sword.
The left hand of Tsangpa Karpo holds a vajra-tipped lasso and lance. Tsangpa Karpo is attired in the garb of a warrior, the head is crowned with a helmet topped with a white conch shell and peacock feathers. In the middle of the chest of Tsangpa Karpo, there is marked with the Tibetan letter ‘hrih,’ which is a golden mirror.
Tsangpa Karpo is riding atop a dark brown horse. He is surrounded by flames of various colors and dark rolling smoke.
Depicting Worldly Protector Tsangpa Karpo Thangka
The thangka of Worldly Protector Tsangpa Karpo is from Tibet. The thangka of Tsangpa Karpo is made between 1600 to 1699 AD.
Tsangpa Karpo is from Gelug and Buddhist lineages. The size of the painting is 48.90×36.83cm. Ground mineral pigment on cotton and black background is used to color this painting. Currently, this thangka is in the Rubin museum of art.
Amitabha Buddha is at the top center of the thangka. Amitabha Buddha is with the hands in meditation holding a begging bowl. Amitabha Buddha is known as a celestial buddha according to the scriptures of Mahayana Buddhism.
Amitabha Buddha is the principal buddha in Pure Land Buddhism, a branch of East Asian Buddhism. In Vajrayana Buddhism, Amitabha is known for his longevity attribute, magnetizing red fire element, the aggregate of discernment, pure perception, and the deep awareness of emptiness of phenomena.
A lama is presented directly below the Amitabha Buddha in the thangka. A lama is wearing a yellow hat. Lama is in a seated position
Lama is known as a spiritual leader.
Padmasambhava is presented at the top right of the thangka. Padmasambhava is also known as Guru Rinpoche. Padmasambhava was an 8th-century Buddhist master from the northwest of India.
Padmasambhava was invited to Tibet by King Trisong Detsen and founded Tibetan Buddhism together with other invited scholars and masters. Padmasambhava is venerated as the “second Buddha” by the Nyingma school the oldest Buddhist school in Tibet known as “the ancient ones. He helped construct the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet at Samye, at the behest of Trisong Detsen.
5th Dalai Lama
5th Dalai Lama is presented at the left of the thangka. 5th Dalai Lama is holding a single white lotus in the right hand. 5th Dalai Lama is wearing a yellow hat and a meditation cloak.
Earlier, we learned about the viability of Tsangpa Karpo, the iconography of Tsangpa Karpo, and depicting Worldly Protector Tsangpa Karpo thangka. Now, we are going to learn about the presentation of Tsangpa Karpo with Damchen Garwa Nagpo thangka.
Tsangpa Karpo with Damchen Garwa Nagpo Thangka
The thangka of Worldly Protector Tsangpa Karpo with Damchen Garwa Nagpo is from Tibet. The thangka of Tsangpa Karpo with Damchen Garwa Nagpo is made between 1700 to 1799 AD. Tsangpa Karpo with Damchen Garwa Nagpo is from Nyingma and Buddhist lineages. The base of the painting is ground mineral pigment on cotton. Currently, this thangka is in the tale of thangkas.
By depicting this thangka, we are going to learn about the presentation Tsangpa Karpo with different deities such as two figures, Pehar Gyalpo, and Rahula, etc.
Damchen Garwa Nagpo is presented at the bottom left corner of the thangka. Damchen Garwa Nagpo is known as the Oath-bound Blacksmith in English. Damchen Garwa Nagpo is the main attendant to the worldly protector Dorje Legpa.
The two figures are presented descending on the viewer’s left of the thangka.
Pehar Gyalpo is presented on the right of the thangka. There are three figures of Pehar Gyalpo. Pehar Gyalpo is a spirit belonging to the Gyalpo class.
Pehar is the leader of a band of five Gyalpo spirits and would later become the protector deity of Nechung Monastery in the 17th century under the auspices of the Fifth Dalai Lama.
Rahula is presented at the right corner of the thangka. Rahula is with nine heads and a serpent tail. Rahula was the only son of Siddhartha Gautama and his wife and princess Yasodhara. Rahula was born on the day of Prince Siddharta’s renunciation and was therefore named Rahula, meaning a fetter on the path to enlightenment.
From this article, we learned about the viability of Tsangpa Karpo, the iconography of Tsangpa Karpo, depicting Worldly Protector Tsangpa Karpo thangka, and the representation of Tsangpa Karpo with Damchen Garwa Nagpo thangka.
One thought on “Worldly Protector Tsangpa Karpo”
Drop your fetters, brothers and sisters. I am a son of God here to exhort you to enlightenment and everlasting life!