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Lot 90

Tshe-ring-ma, the mountain goddess of long life and her retinue

Estimated Value:

1.800 € - 2.500 €


4.000 €


Bhutan, 18th/ 19th c.
51 x 36,5 (108 x 61) cm
The ancient deities of Tibetan Buddhism include a large number of Tibetan mountain and local deities. The goddess Tshe-ring-ma, together with her retinue, belongs to the great circle of deities around the goddess Paldan Lhamo. lconographically, the "goddess of long life" Tshe-ring-ma, together with four other goddesses, appears as a group under the name "the Five Sisters of Long Life". As the original demonesses, Tshe-ring-ma and her entourage intended to harm the yogis. As a result, Tshe-ring-ma and her attendants were subdued and banished twice. First under Padmasambhava and then again under Milarepa, in the latter case she was committed as the patron goddess of the yogis. Guru Padmasambhava and the poet-yogi Milarepa are present in the upper part of the painting, accompanying the "Buddha of Long Life"- Amitayus, who appears in their midst. The Buddhadakini Tshe-ring-ma, of white color, rides on a white snow lioness, and is enclosed in a traditional Bhutanese tent. In her right hand she holds up to the sky the golden, five-pointed vajra, which is able to ward off the obstacles of life. In her left hand she carries the precious vessel with the water of life in front of her heart, which identifies her as the "long life goddess". She is adorned with the golden fivefold crown that points to the wisdoms of the Five Tathagatas. Her face is lovely, and her body color white. Rich gold jewelry and silk garments adorn her chest and limbs, as well as a white shoulder cloth. A radiant aura and gloriole surround her impressive figure. Tshe-ring-ma is accompanied by "sisters" below. The goddess mLhing-gi zhal-bzang-mo, the vajradakini of deep blue color riding on a female wild ass. In her left hand she holds the mirror showing the samsaric world as a deception, and in her right hand she wields the consecration arrow with a pennant. Further, the goddess Mi-gyo blo-bzang-ma, the Ratnadkini of yellow color on a striped tigress. In her left hand she carries a golden bowl with the hundred most precious flavors, and in her right hand a consecration arrow. Then the goddess Cod-pan mgrinbzang-ma appears, the Padmadakini of red color riding on a hind. In her right hand she carries a book (?) and in her left hand the cintamani (wishing gem). As the fourth sister, the deity gTad-dkar 'gro-bzang-ma appears as a Karmadakini of green color riding a green female dragon. In her left hand she carries the consecration arrow and in her right hand a bundle of durvagras. The five deities appear in the order of the mandala, and their five colors, and are identical with the five dakinis. That is, they are equivalent in meaning to the five Buddhadakinis of the Tathagatamandala. Seven sacrificial goddesses, carrying sound offerings and honorifics, are scattered across the interstices of the lush landscape. Above the white tent appears Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel - the founder of the state, and 1st king of Bhutan, with the golden water of life vase in his left hand. Tempera and gold on cotton fabric,
original silk satin border with traditional brocade insert (bija)
Important German private collection, collected in the 1970s and 80s, largely acquired at Schoettle Ostasiatica, Stuttgart.
Literature: Therese Tse Bartholomew and John Johnston, The Dragon's Gift, The Sacred Arts of Bhutan; Serindia, 2008: 40, 42
Minor signs of age and wear, the flyspeck spread over the whole painting is due to the origin, because of the climatic conditions, on the back small backed spots