Tibet, Padmasambhava (2)

The 8th century Indian co-founder of Tantric Buddhism in Tibet (along with Shantirakshita and Trisong Detsen) was particularly worshipped in the 11th century, when thousands of statues representing him in many different tantric forms were created. Unfortunately, these early sculptures are very rare. However, his cult lasted throughout the following centuries.

16th century, Tibet, Dorje Drolo, the ecstatic form of Padmasambhava, copper alloy, private collection

16th century, Tibet, Dorje Drolo, copper alloy, private collection

Dorje Drolo, the ecstatic form of Padmasambhava, stands on a lion and holds a vajra or thunderbolt in each hand.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Guru Dragmar, a rare tantric form of Padmasambhava,

17th-18th century, Tibet, wood, cold gold and pigments. At the Musée Guimet, Paris

labelled as Guru Dragmar, but in fact Guru Dragpur, a wrathful form of Padmasambhava, half man-half dagger with garuda wings, an elephant hide and a human one on his back, a garland of severed heads round his neck, a makara head worn like a belt. He holds a vajra and a scorpion, his hair and the halo behind him are like flames.

16th century, Tibet, Guru Dragpo, gilt copper, at the Tsug Lakhang, published by Ulrich Von Schroeder

16th century, Tibet, Guru Dragpo, gilt copper inlaid with stones, at the Tsug Lakhang, published by Ulrich Von Schroeder

This wratfhul form of Padmasambhava, known as Guru Dragpo, has two fangs and three eyes and also holds a vajra and a scorpion. He wears a garland of severed heads around his body and, like most wrathful gods, he tramples the enemies of the faith.

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