15th-16th century, Tibet, Sönam Tsemo, copper alloy, is or was at the Spituk monastery in Ladakh, photo by Chiara Bellini, here .
Portrayed as a deified lama, holding the stem of lotuses that support the hilt of a sword and a manuscript, Sonam Tsemo does the ‘turning the wheel of the law’ gesture (dharmacakra mudra) with his hands close to each other. The long sleeves covering both arms indicate that he was a layman, not a monk. See biographical notes here .
This teacher does the same gesture but with his hands apart. He wears monastic garments, that leave his right arm bare.
This 15th century teacher, who was to become the 2nd Panchen Lama posthumously, is shown with his right hand in the gesture of debate (vitarka mudra) and the left hand cupped to hold a manuscript. He wears sumptuous Chinese silk garb including a meditation cloak with a floral motif and an embroidered border that covers his feet, and sits on a brocaded cushion atop a throne embellished with chased patterns.
Originally labelled ‘Milarepa’, this figure is thought to represent another teacher and is attributed to a Tsang atelier (see HAR )
It is not clear if there were actually two lamas with the same name (also spelled Yuthok Yonten) referred to as ‘the younger’ and ‘the older’ but this image is certainly different from the others we have seen so far. Instead of having a mahasiddha appearance he is fully dressed like a layman and his hair is smooth. There is a vase of longevity in his left hand, the right one does the boon-granting gesture.
A rare and early stone sculpture of Dromtön Gyalwe/Gyelwa Jungne, who lived during the 11th century (see biographical notes on Treasury of Lives ), dressed as a layman.
Circa 15th century, Tibet, Pakpa Lodrö Gyeltsen, at the Chenré monastery in Ladakh, photo by Chiara Bellini as above.
We had seen him portrayed as a deified lama, but not as an elderly man with a moustache and goatee. He holds a flaming triple gem (triratna) in his left hand. The right hand does the gesture of debate (vitarka mudra).
Namkha Rapsel from Khokhlung, holding a round flaming jewel in his left hand.
The following, which are part of a set of lamdre teachers from the Mindroling monastery, have been published in the ‘unidentified lamas’ section of this blog, and were originally dated ‘early 16th century’. They have since been identified in A Revolutionary Artist of Tibet by David Jackson, who attributes them to the artist Khyentse Chenmo, and around ‘1460 to 1470’.
Sakya master Tegchen Choje, also known as Kunga Tashi (1349-1425), is one of the elderly men in the gilt copper repoussé set. He wears monastic garments and has both hands on his knees.
There are several lamas called Sonam Gyaltsen; the lamdre teacher lived during the 14th century (1312-1375) and belonged to the Sakya school of Tibetan buddhism. This work depicts him doing the fear-allaying gesture with his right hand, the left one may have supported a manuscript. A photo of the same sculpture taken by Ulrich von Schroeder in 1992 shows that the cold gold and pigments on the faces were renovated after.