Vaishravana Pata

22.1852

Vaishravana Pata

22.1852

Description

This pata forms a part of a larger composition as seen from the markings “North No. 7” and “East No. 2” at the back. The epithet “Lord-Leader of the Yaksha…” mentioned in the inscription at the back denotes Vaishravana (another name for Kubera, the Lord of the Yakshas), corroborated also by iconographic details.
In painting, Vaishravana is seen seated on a lotus seat in ardhaparyankasana, with left leg bent and right pendant, wearing embroidered dhoti and bare-bodied except for an upavita (sacred garment) covering the shoulders and falling loosely over the arms. This is so unlike Vaishravana’s usual mail armour and high boots seen in his metal images. The figure has an angry expression; and hold a sword and a mongoose in his hands. His expression in the first is enhanced by his coiffure that resembles flame tips. Both figures are framed by pilasters supporting a trefoil arch.
In the top corners of the pata, Garuda appears in the right corner, instead of Vajrapani. What is enigmatic is that all three Vajrapanis are shown wearing characteristic tazig (Persian cloak) and slippers. The red and blue background in both paintings has delicate, sensitive floral design, perhaps inspired by the Chinese and Persian silk cloth (zo-og) which was regularly imported into Tibet.
Another unusual feature is the Buddhist creed “Ye dharma…etc.” inscribed in Newari characters as a bold border around each painting. Possibly the paintings were commissioned by a Nepali patron and the inscriptions were added late.
The text of the Tibetan inscriptions on the paintings, read for us by David Templeman, is as follows:
[he is] dark red, single-faced, and with two
hands,
holding both a trishula and a mongoose.
I pay my homage to you 700,000 times.
om supratistha vajra sva ha”
On the front, under the image:
“Homage to the Vajra”

[he is] red-coloured, single-faced, and with
two hands,
holding a sword and a mongoose.
I pay my homage to you 700,000 times.
om supratistha vajra sva ha”
On the front, under the image:
“Homage to the holder of the Garuda.”

On the reverse:
“north no. 7
om ah hum [vertically]
As for the Lord-Leader of the Yaksha
harm-bringers - grasper of the zephyrs,

Sir Ratan Tata Art Collection

Collection

Himalayan Art

Object Type

Thangka-Patta

Material

Painting on cloth

Schools/Culture/Period

--

Technique

--

Date

c. 15th century CE

Location

Tibet

Dimension

28.5 x 27.5 cm