A Bonpo Painting of Protector Deities

A Bonpo Painting of Protector Deities

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Book Specification

Item Code: UAO276
Author: Samten G. Karmay
Publisher: Vajra Books, Nepal
Language: English
Edition: 2015
ISBN: 9789937623445
Pages: 68 (Throughout Color Illustrations)
Other Details 9.00 X 6.00 inch
Weight 190 gm

Book Description

About the Author
SAMTEN G. KARMAY is Director of Research Emeritus at the National Centre of Scientific Research (CNRS), Paris. He obtained a Geshe degree in Dzogchen philosophy at Kyangtshang Monastery, Tibet, and earned his PhD on the origin and development of Dzogchen in Tibetan Buddhism from the University of London. He has published a number of books on Tibetan religions, including Secret Visions of the Fifth Dalai Lama, The Gold Manuscript of the Fournier Collection, Serindia 1988 and The Illusive Play, the Autobiography of the Fifth Dalai Lama, Serindia 2014.

This book is an iconographic study of an unusual Tibetan painting. As a work of art its quality is remarkable, and it is probably the only one of its kind in its frame and subject matter. The existence of other paintings that depict the same deities has not so far been attested. The painting belongs to the Bon religious tradition and is currently preserved in the Rubin Museum of Art (RMA) in New York, where it featured in an exhibition of Bon art that took place in 2007.

The identification of the deities depicted in the painting was a most intriguing part of the study of this work. It is not known at all who the artist was something that is not surprising since the artists of Tibetan thangkas very rarely sign their names directly on their paintings. Likewise its geographical origin, whether Central Tibet, Kham or Amdo, is not known either. The ritual texts that go with the painting and provide the iconographic description of the depicted deities, and above all the ritual function of the deities and their origins, were not easy to locate. One immediate question that might be raised relates to the date of the painting. To establish this, it has been extremely important to identify its geographical origin. The present study of the painting has therefore endeavoured to answer all these inevitable questions.

After the discussion of these relevant matters a full English translation of the Tibetan ritual text, with annotations, is provided, together with the original text itself in Tibetan script. The work concludes with a bibliography and an index of proper names. I hope this study will help to solve the riddle of this painting and reveal the true significance of its content.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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