Damarupa, 2007

Pastel and ink on paper

45 x 33 inches (frame)

020

Damarupa is a mahasiddha in the Lamdre lineage. As a mahasiddha he was a historical person who forms a link between the Buddhist deities and masters of India and the Tibetan lamas. Damarupa was from central India and received teachings from his guru Krsnapa and handed them down to his student Avadhutipa. Damarupa was able to appear in the 24 pithas (spiritual power places including charnel grounds) and 32 sacred places simultaneously while sounding the damaru (drum). Here he is shown holding a skullcup in his left hand, and with his right hand a drum (damaru), from which his name derives. The Lamdre system of the Sakya monasteries of Tibet is credited to Virupa, who developed the first of the great synthetic schemes through which tantric beliefs and practices integrated into a graded and progressive Buddhist path. The mahasiddas are not merely masters of the past, but are rather powerful spiritual figures accessible in the continual present. This image was taken from a 16th c. Tibetan lineage painting.

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