Tsongkhapa and the Gelugpa Lineage Tree Thangka

Tsongkhapa and the Gelugpa Lineage Tree Thangka

(1 customer review)


( 102 x 152 cm )

The painting is the Lineage tree thangka, with four levels of enlightenment. At the ground of the tree structure, there are different forms of creatures.


Tsongkhapa and the Gelugpa Refuge Tree Thangka is handpainted by Master Thangka Artist from Kathmandu Nepal.
In the center of the Thangka Tsongkapa can be seen who is the founder of Gelug Lineage.
An array of figures adorn a giant ‘wish-granting gem tree,’ which is considered to be a combination of the tree that the Shakyamuni Buddha miraculously grew from a toothpick at Shravasti, the tree of enlightenment, and the ancient tree of ancestral life. This representation was first expressed by the First Panchen Lama, Losang Chokyi Gyaltsen (1570-1662) in his famous poem ‘Mentor Worship’.

This tree rises from a deep blue sea. On the banks at the lower right is a lama worshipping the array above and holding up an offering. A table of finely-drawn ritual objects appears before him. In the water is a miniature representation of Mount Sumeru (the ‘World Mountain’), which symbolizes the universe in Buddhist cosmology, including a palatial building on top to represent the heavenly realms. On the opposite bank, in the left corner, are the Seven Necessities of a World Ruler (known as Chakravartin): the queen, minister, general, war elephant, valiant steed, wish-fulfilling jewel, and the Great Wheel of the Dharma.

The tree hangs low with fruit, flowers, and leaves. Hovering just beneath and sitting on individual clouds in the sky are the Four Heavenly Guardian Kings of the Four Directions. At the lowest level of the tree branches are the fierce protectors favored by the Gelug Order. In the row above are the Sixteen Arhats. Each Arhat is finely portrayed as a distinct individual with an identifying attribute. Above are a large number of bodhisattvas and the Thirty-Five Buddhas of Confession. Shakyamuni, seated in bhumisparsha mudra, appears at the center of the group.

In the central position, high on the tree, sits Tsongkhapa (1357-1419), the ‘Root Mentor, the actuality of all Buddhas!’ as described in the First Panchen Lama’s poem. Tsongkhapa was the founder of the Yellow hat Gelug Order, considered a supreme authority on doctrines and texts.

He is considered a manifestation of the bodhisattva of Wisdom, Manjushri. The stems of lotus flowers that flank him support the Book of Transcendent Wisdom, further showing his relation with Manjushri. In his heart appears the figure of Shakyamuni.

On separate clouds to the right and left are the masters of the Wisdom lineage and the Method lineage respectively. In the large central cloud above are more masters and a vertical line of seven repetitive seated images of Manjushri. Maitreya is at the upper left and Amitayus at the upper right.

Additional information

Dimensions 102 × 152 cm

Small, Medium, Large

1 review for Tsongkhapa and the Gelugpa Lineage Tree Thangka

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    Doug Wilkerson

    The colors are so vibrant!! I really loved this item, very detailed and skilled hand painted. Delivery was on time. The painting is really good and good work on detail and finishing of the painting. It is gorgeous & it’s large ! My new favorite piece of master painting in my home.

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Discover more about "lineage tree thangka"

A lineage in Buddhism is a line of transmission of the Buddhist teaching that is "theoretically traced back to the Buddha himself." The acknowledgement of the transmission can be oral, or certified in documents. Several branches of Buddhism, including Chan (including Zen and Seon) and Tibetan Buddhism maintain records of their historical teachers. These records serve as a validation for the living exponents of the tradition.

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