Tibet, deified lamas (1)

15th century, Tibet, Sakya lama, copper alloy, private collection,

15th century, Tibet, Sakya lama, copper alloy, private collection,

This lama is seated in the vajra position on a double-lotus base. To his right, a blue lotus supports the hilt of a sword, on the other side a white lotus supports a book/manuscript (these attributes are often seen on sculptures of Manjushri, the bodhisattva of wisdom). He holds a flaming jewel in his left hand.

16th century, Tibet, lama, copper alloy with silver inlay, Sakya tradition, private collection, photo by Sotheby's.

16th century, Tibet, lama, copper alloy with silver inlay, Sakya tradition, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

Occasionally, the manuscript is topped with a pearl. On the above example, the pearl is on the lotus itself.

16th century, Central Tibet, lama, copper alloy, at the Patan Museum.

16th century, Central Tibet, lama, copper alloy, at the Patan Museum.

The lotuses attached to this Gelugpa’s elbow support a thunderbolt (vajra) (to his right) and a bell (ghanta) with a vajra handle. These are the attribute of various deities, in particular the buddhas Vajradhara and Vajrasattva.

16th century, Tibet, Sakya lama, copper alloy, published by Ian Alsop.

16th century, Tibet, Sakya lama, copper alloy, published by Ian Alsop.

This lama holds the stem of a white lotus topped with the hilt of  sword to his right and a blue lotus topped with a book to his left.

Deified lama, 16th c., Tibet, bronze, 14 cm, Sakya, Alsop, rear

To distinguish them, in Himalayan art the white lotus is circular and the blue lotus has a triangular shape.

16th century, Tibet, Sakyapa, copper alloy with cold gold, private collection.

16th century, Tibet, lama, copper alloy with cold gold, Sakya tradition, private collection.

This Sakyapa holds a flaming jewel in his left hand. There is a small rosary on the lotus to his right.

 

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