dKon mchog rgyal (1388-1469)
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ABP 051

 Code: ABP 051

  Country: Tibet (west)

  Style:

  Date: 1470

  Dimensions in cm WxHxD: 28.5 x 32

  Materials: Glue distemper on cotton

dKon mchog rgyal (1388-1469) second abbot of Ngor ?

Distemper on cloth (no restorations).
This Thangka was discovered inside a painted cave in Western Tibet, the exact location of which remains unknown. The painting depicts a lineage of teachers of the Sa skya tradition. There are altogether some 25 teachers depicted. Five of the teachers, including the principal one in the centre, are distinguished by round red hats, while some 13 wear pointed red hats. Five of the monks wear no hat. One wears the
garment of a lay tantric teacher, while all the others are depicted in monks garments.
The principal monk in the centre of the Thangka is seated in the diamond attitude (vajraparyanka) on a throne with an elaborately decorated back rest. He displays the “gesture of the Wheel of the Law”(dharmacakra—mudra) and is clad with monastic garments (tricivara). Note the diamond sceptre (vajra) and the prayer-bell (ghanta) depicted beside his shoulders. The principal monk cannot easy be identified.
On the back of the Sa skya lineage painting are inscriptions in the Tibetan dBu can script:
Behind each of the depicted deities and monks is a vertically written OM A HUM

In the centre of back side is the following inscription which only amounts to a praise of the central figure, weaving the syllables of his name into the verses, and does not provide any useful information:

dkon mchog dges (legs?) pa’i lhag bsam can 

"I bow at the feet of the splendid master,

mi mthun phyogs las rnam par rgyal pa

whose special attitude delights the rare and sublime [Three Jewels],

dges mtshan dpal yon bzang po can 

who is victorious over opposing forces,

dpal ldan bla ma’i bzhabs la btud 

and is endowed with the fine splendour and qualifies of virtuous marks.”
(Translated by Cyrus Stearns)

Stylistically this Thangka shows many similarities with the mural paintings of the dPal ’khor mchod rten («palkhor chôden») or sKu ’bum («kumbum») and the temples and chapels of the dPal ’khor gTsug lag khang («palkhor tsuglagkhang») at rGyal rtse («gyantse») in Southern Tibet. The dPal ’khor mchod rten was consecrated in 1427, the decoration finished in 1439. The decoration of some of the temples of the dPal ’khor gTsug lag khang decoration was finished in 1425.
Sa skya
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
 
The Sakya ("pale earth") school is one of four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism, the others being the Nyingma, Kagyu, and Gelug. It is one of the Red Hat Orders along with the Nyingma and Kagyu.
The name derives from the unique grey landscape of Ponpori Hills in southern Tibet near Shigatse, where Sakya Monastery, the first monastery of this tradition, and the seat of the Sakya School was built by Khon Konchog Gyalpo (1034–1102) in 1073.
 
The Sakya tradition developed during the second period of translation of Buddhist scripture from Sanskrit into Tibetan in the late 11th century. It was founded by Drogmi, a famous scholar and translator who had studied at the Vikramashila directly under Naropa, Ratnākaraśānti, Vagishvakirti and other great panditas from India for twelve years.
Khon Konchog Gyalpo became Drogmi's disciple on the advice of his elder brother.
The tradition was established by the "Five Venerable Supreme Masters" starting with the grandson of Khonchog Gyalpo, Sachen Kunga Nyingpo, who became known as Sachen, or "Great Sakyapa":
*Sachen Kunga Nyingpo (1092–1158)
*Sonam Tsemo (1142–1182)
*Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen (1147–1216)
*Sakya Pandita (1182–1251)
*Drogön Chögyal Phagpa (1235–1280)
 
Teachings
Sachen, the first of the five supreme masters, inherited a wealth of tantric doctrines from numerous Tibetan translators or "lotsawas" who had visited India: most importantly Drokmi Lotsawa, Bari Lotsawa and Mal Lotsawa. 
From Drokmi comes the supreme teaching of Sakya, the system of Lamdre "Path and its Fruit" deriving from the mahasiddha Virupa based upon the Hevajra Tantra.
Mal Lotsawa introduced to Sakya the esoteric Vajrayogini lineage known as "Naro Khachoma." 
From Bari Lotsawa came innumerable tantric practices, foremost of which was the cycle of practices known as the One Hundred Sadhanas. 
Other key transmissions that form part of the Sakya spiritual curriculum include the cycles of Vajrakilaya, Mahākāla and Guhyasamāja tantras.
 
The main Dharma system of the Sakya school is the "Path with its Result" (lam dang 'bras bu bcas), which is split into two main lineages, "Explanation for the Assembly" (tshogs bshad) and the "Explanation for Close Disciples" (slobs bshad).
The other major system of the Sakya school is the "Naropa Explanation For Disciples" (nā ro mkha spyod slob bshad).

Lo Bue, Erberto and Ricca, Franco, 1990. Gyantse Revisited. Firenze: Casa Editrice Le Lettere & Torino: Cesmeo. Pls. 92, 106, 109, 110, etc. - Compare