A SHAMAR LAMA, 2009
acrylic on canvas
36 x 32 inches
The Shamarpa lineage was the second line of reincarnate lamas established in Tibetan Buddhism after the Karmapas. The line does not extend from father to son. After the death of the lineage holder, the next lineage holder is recognized as a reincarnation of the former lineage holder.
The Shamarpa shown here, Mipam Chodrub Gyatso (1742-1792), is the seventh incarnation. Because of political conflicts, he and his lineage were exiled to Nepal until modern times.
He holds the symbols of enlightenment—bell and vajra—to his heart. Unlike traditional depictions, his wrists are not crossed.