Dialogue  October-December, 2012, Volume 14 No. 2

7.      Tibetan Buddhist Art: A preview on Paintings

Lobsang Norbu-Shastri


Until the beginning of the last century, Tibet in the eyes of the Europeans, came to be known as a ‘Forbidden Land’ as it is surrounded on all sides by impregnable chains of Himalayas. The land and its people were never unveiled to the outside world. Its religion and culture also remained mysterious and magical in the outlook of far off lands due to misinformation carried out by some European travelers.

Explorations of Tibet came into four waves—the first missionary1 in the 17th century, the esoteric mystical, the economic and political,2 and the fourth a quest for Eastern learning. During this period Jesuit and Capuchin Priests found new horizons to breed their faith in the Himalayas, especially in the adjoining ‘Forbidden Land’. Due to their particular religious outlook, they obtained a distorted image of the Tibetan religion and culture. For instance Father Andrada primarily saw the shaministic side of Tibet’s religion, the influence of primitive cult ‘Bon’ which he felt had been absorbed into Buddhism to form ‘Lamaism’. Further, it is substantiated by Waddlell:

".....the bulk of the Lamaist cults comprise much deep-rooted devil-worship and sorcery. ...For Lamaism is only thinly and imperfectly varnished over with Buddhist symbolism, beneath which the sinister growth of poly-demonist superstition darkly appears."3

Tibet’s ancient wisdom was awaiting for conquerors and explorers alike, especially due to mystifying stories by travelers like Lama Govinda which mainly focused in and around the Himalayas, the accounts of Alexandera David-Neel and necromantic mysteries relating to Tantrika

* Associate-Professor, Translation Dept., Research Faculty, Central University of Tibetan Studies, Sarnath, Varanasi (U.P.)

Buddhism. Later, Tibet became as a land of spiritual mysteries and Himalayan Gurus to the Western world. The more dubious excursions into oriental mysticism led to the Theosophical movements and allied manifestations of western occultism evoked by Madame Blavatsky at the turn of last century. During this period an upsurge of academic interest in eastern religion arose as evidenced particularly in the works of scholars like Max Muller, Csoma de Koros, G. Tucci, Stcherebastky, Poussin, Lamotte, G.N. Roerich and E. Obermiller. Closely following these was the man Rahula Samkrtyayana, the towering Indologist who single-handedly spearheaded a mission for search of Sanskrit manuscripts in Tibet from 1933 to 1937.4 He unveiled the true picture of the religion of Tibet, freeing from the label of ‘Lamaism’ through his extensive research and writings.

Among the above scholars George N. Roerich was the earliest Western scholar throwing light on the Tibetan painting styles (1925) in his Tibetan paintings. He acknowledged that he did not know the subject well enough to discuss the schools of art , but went on ahead two main ‘areas of artistic activity’ in Tibet: the South-western and the North-eastern schools. The former having its center in Shigatse, and he stated that its traditions were a tributary of Indo-Nepalese art. The later was centered in Derge, and he also stated that it had the same Indo-Nepalese foundation, though it received later additional influences from Mongolia and China. He also mentioned three local schools: the Lhasa school, the Ggyang-tse school, and the school of the Khams province in the Eastern Tibet. Another western scholar was G. Tucci (1932-41) and (1949) who superseded Roerich contributions with his major works Indo-Tibetica (1932-41) and Tibetan Painted Scrolls (1949)—especially the later. It became routine reference as a classic on Tibetan paintings, but in its day the work became a magnum opus. Even now the work repays careful study for anyone interested not just in art, but also in other parts of Tibetan civilizations such as history, religion and literature in the last four decades. The main reason was that he was able to visit many of the great monasteries of western and central Tibet. In addition, he had the advantage of being able to use at home a large collection of written sources he had gathered in Tibet—a collection that he brought to Rome. It is an irony that the Eastern scholastic works generally get recognition only through the spectacles of Western scholarship, otherwise, they lie in dormant. Thus, it is true to Tibetan art also. It exposed to far and wide after it came into contact with Western scholarship expertise only.

Legendary Origins

The painted image of Buddha is said to have originated during the time of the ®S"akyamuni Buddha in the central India— Magadha. During the Buddha’s lifetime, two kings viz., Bimbis"ara of Magadha and Uttrayana exchange gifts and that one day King Bimbis"ara, upon receiving priceless armour from his counterpart decided, after much thought, to have an image of ®S"akyamui Buddha painted on cloth to give in return. After receiving the consent of Buddha, Bimbisåra commissioned some of his best court artists to paint Buddha’s portrait. When the artists looked upon the Buddha, however, they were so filled with wonder of his form and were thus unable to judge proportions correctly. So the Buddha took the artists to a clear pond and told them to paint from the reflection in the water. As a result, this style of painting came to be known as ‘The image of the Sage taken from the water’ (chu-len-ma).5

Another account relates the first paintings of the Buddha when he was teaching in the groove of Kapilvastu. At that time there was a chieftain called Mah"an"ama, whose wife had a maid-servant named Rohit"a. Whilst the Buddha was giving discourse, the wife saw a beautiful necklace on the neck of a noble lady. She became more jealous and sent Rohit"a to fetch her jewel necklace. With deep heart she got up from the discourse of the Buddha and on the way was killed by a cow. Before she breath her last, she fervently made supplication with great faith in Buddha. Due to that she was re-born as Mukt"alat"a, the daughter of King of ®Srilank"a. When she grew up she re-awakened the faith from her former life. She sent letter to the Buddha with a gift of pearl through the merchants of ®Sr"avasti and in reply, the Buddha sent a letter and an image of Buddha on a canvas. This style became known as ‘The image of the Sage taken from the rays.6 On the lower part of both the above paintings teachings about going for refuge, practicing morality, and the foundation of Buddhist trainings are recorded. Surrounding the portrait with images of twelve links of dependent arising and instructions of Buddha with following two verses:

‘Take this up and give that up:

Enter the Buddha's teaching.

Like an elephant in lotus pond

Destroy the forces of Lord of Death.

He who mindfully engages

In this way of discipline

Will leave the wheel of birth behind

And brings his suffering to an end.7

These two legends represent the origins of painted images. The art of Buddhist sculpture began with An"athapi]n]daka8 (a wealthy patron), who one day invited the Buddha and his monks to midday meal. When he noticed that Buddha had declined the invitation, he asked the Exalted One for permission to have erected an image made of precious substances, complete in every detail. This became known as the ‘Precious Teacher’.9 Later in his life, the Buddha gave permission for images to be made of his likeness, in order to guide holders of extreme views and accumulate more merits.

Development of Buddhist arts in India

The first phase of Buddhist art occurred in the third century B.C. under the Buddhist inspiration when the famous Indian king Ashoka, after establishing a large empire, became devout Buddhist and a great patron of Buddhist art. With his reign the arts began to flourish again especially in the realm of sculpture, which at all times was the most important art form in India, an outstanding results were achieved. Some scholars view that although subjects represented and the iconography implied were truly Buddhist art forms, and the styles of carving were derived from Persian sources10. Some of the builders and carvers working for Ashoka were actually of Persian origin, no doubt refugees from Achaemenid Persia which had recently been conquered by Alexander the Great and had become part of Hellenistic empire. This period saw a great outburst of artistic activity largely in the service of Buddhism and Buddhist viharas. Most outstanding among these monuments are the Stupa, which were erected as a commemorative to the Buddhas and his noble beings.

The second phase of Indian Buddhist art began under the Kushåna rulers who came to pour during first century A.D., and it was during this period that the type of image which to this day is thought of as a classical representation of the Buddha was first created. The two great centers of artistic activity were Mathura in the eastern section of northern India where hybrid style called Greco-Buddhist art flourished. The great patron of the arts at this time was King Kanishka who was responsible for the erection of innumerable temples and stupas and the production of huge quantities of sacred images. Among these the most impressive are those of the historical Buddha ®S$akyamuni, who is treated in human form—depicting him as an Indian monk dressed in a monk's robe, his face the serenity of the Enlightened One, his body endowed with the marks of Great Being: the us_sni_sa-symbolising his omniscience; the urˆa-indicating that he sees all; and the large ears showing that he hears all.

The classical formulation of Buddhist art became acme with the advent of the Gupta age, which lasted from the fourth through the sixth century. In Gupta art the earliest strains, the native Mathura and the late classical Gandharan, were merged into a new style, which gives perfect expression to the ideals of Buddhism. Many splendid works have survived from this period: sculpture, architecture, also painting, notably at Ajanta in the Deccan. Although the pictorial arts had flourished earlier and some small fragments of frescoes dating from an earlier period have survived it was only the kings of the Gupta period that the artistic form reached its maturity.

During seventh century in Bengal and Bihar in eastern part of India did Buddhism continue to be major source of inspiration, whilst in other parts was produced under Hindu auspices. The Buddhist art of eastern India during the reign of P"alas and Sena kings of Bengal was, at its best, equal to any that was produced in India. It was also influential in forming religious arts elsewhere in Asia, particularly the Buddhist art of Nepal and Tibet. This is true due to the successive attacks and invasions carried by the Turks which led to the flight of tens of thousands of Buddhist monks to the neighbouring countries after their persecution. In many ways, the early P"ala sculpture continued the traditions of the late Gupta art. During the later P"ala dynasty these traditions, and their subject matter, were extended beyond previous conceptions of religious sculpture. This was due to two main reasons, a period of comparative peace and prosperity following the foundation of P"ala dynasty, and the culmination of a long period ferment in Mah"ay"ana outlook. In the course of development of Buddhism in India, and the inevitable dilution for popular consumption of the original austere teachings of the Buddha himself, numerous divine personages were incorporated into the art —especially tantra arts to assist mankind to search for the enlightenment that not only spells the end of cyclic-existence but also brings benefit and welfare for many. One can easily detect the close affinity of palm-leaf miniatures of A_s_tasahsri k"aprajñ"ap"aramit"a and 'Ary"a T"ar"a and so forth and exact replicas to be found on the xylographic miniatures by the Tibetan counterparts. Their combination provided conditions under which wealthy patrons built famous monasteries such as Odantapuri and N"aland"a dedicated to the pursuit of religious learning, for sculpture to decorate them in a conducive environment, and performance of religious undertakings all of which resulted in new ideas becoming more widely acceptable. In the later P"ala rulers one can see the increase in both quality and quantity of metal images on the existing stone sculpture. Before the 8th century, bronzes were comparatively few; but during this period large numbers were made most of which were small in size. Apart from bronze, images were also cast in a conventional eight-metal alloy and sometimes decorated with silver or copper inlay such as the seated figure of Buddha. With the upsurge of learning in eastern India such as in N"aland"a, universities, higher learning was almost identical with higher religious as well as allied learning. Thus, ®S"antarak_sita of Nalanda traveled to Tibet for dissemination of Buddha's teaching on the invitation from the Tibetan king in the last part of 8th century. Later, Dharmadeva, a learned monk from Nalanda, similarly, travelled to the Sung court of China at the end of 10th century, and Atisha Dipankara to Tibet to impart learning in the 11th century from Vikramshila. Conversely many students from Asian countries made perilous journeys across deserts and dangerous seas as they were attracted to these anicent seats of learning.

Tibetan Buddhist art

Tibet has been the heir apparent of ancient Indian learning. Not only did Tibet through the ages preserve them in their purest form, they also made significant breakthroughs in presenting them into their fullest forms. These works form the corpus of the Kangyur (Buddha's teachings) and Tangyur (treatises), which are familiar to many. These materials, ranging from profound Buddhist philosophy to the science of versification and fine arts, are objects of intensive modern research and scholarship. Among the five major fields of knowledge11, the shilpa, the art itself is an important part of the integrated with other knowledge. Thus, even for non-scholastics, the sacred had played such an important role in Buddhist ritual and life that most masters were obliged to know something about it, especially if they were involved in the building of temples or commissioning of major works of art. The study of sacred art—or at least of the techniques for correctly proportioning and producing sacred images— becomes a way of life.

Tibetans closely adhered to the religious teachings of the Indian Pandits, so too did they follow the strict guidelines laid down by Indian and later, Nepalese [Newar] and Chinese artists. Eventually it was the Nepalese and Chinese painters who had the most far-reaching influence on the development of the Tibetan art. The principle artistic schools from which Tibetan painting is derived were in Western India and date back to the 7th and 8th centuries. The influence of these schools was felt throughout Central and Eastern India, eventually reaching Nepal from where it filtered into Tibet. It was in the 7th century, during the reign of Song-btsen Gampo (617-649) that Buddhism and its associated art forms made considerable advance throughout Tibet. Song-btsen Gampo's marriages to both a Chinese and Nepalese princesses brought Chinese and Nepalese artists into Tibet where they worked to further the spread of Buddhism through art12.

Late, during the 11th century, painting in Western Tibet began to draw from the Kashmir school when the great monk translator Richen Zangpo, brought a number of artists from Kashmir to Tibet in the first half of the century. The paintings of these artists hung in Tibetan painting consist in a mutual approach and blending of the Chinese and Nepalese manners. As time went on, these external influences, which provided the initial direction and rules of Tibetan painting, began to give way to more distinctly Tibetan style of painting. For later, even when absorbing Chinese influence, the Tibetans learnt to interpret it in their own ways, no longer simply imitating the style as they had formerly done.

First emergence of Tibetan styles:

Modern scholars would now probably date the beginning of what could be considered truly Tibetan styles to somewhere in the middle decades of the 15th century. Tucci maintained that before the period of the great stËpas of gTsang (mainly Gyang-rtse stupa, which was painted for the most part in the 1430s'), painting in Tibet had reflected a variety of foreign schools, but that it had not yet became an expression of a distinctively Tibetan sensibility. Tucci also thought that he had detected the earliest achievement of Tibetan artistic maturity precisely in some of the murals of these great multiple-chapel stupas of gTsang. He perceived that the style found in the best of the previous (mainly Indian, which here means Nepalese, and Chinese) stylistic currents. Though, the Nepalese elements continued to predominate as before, he believed that the influences had now been successfully assimilated and transformed by the Tibetan stylistic sensibility. Thus, Tucci wrote:

"Tibetan art acquired an individuality of its own, and the artists, as if they vaguely sensed this, took an unusual course, never since so prevalent in Tibetan painting: they signed their works."13

There is no denying the importance of the early 1400s for Tibetan art, but here David Jackson tries to modify Tucci's judgment slightly in the following word :

"It would be more accurate to say that the style of the Gyang-rtse murals of 1430's merely announces the birth of a Tibetan national style, and that the Chinese and Newar influences had not yet been fully amalgamated."14

The decisive step in that direction would be taken by artists of the next generation. Some authoritative indigenous Tibetan writers on art similarity maintain that the earlier style had not yet become a truly 'Tibetan style' (bod-ris) until the time of the great Tibetan painters such as mKyentse and mMan-bla-don-drup who flourished in the 1450s and 1460s.

According to recent Tibetan historian15, one of the early outstanding Tibetan painter was also some how linked with one of the multiple-temple stupa built in gTsang during the 15th century. He was the painter Bye'u (or Byi'u) from Yar-stod, who was one of the first painters to be mentioned in historical accounts purely for his own achievements as a professional artist, and not because of his fame otherwise as a Buddhist master or as an artist patronized by some Buddhist master. Not much is definitely known about Byi'u or his works, but he seems to have been a professional artist born in southern Tibet who flourished in gTsang in about the second quarter of the 15th century and whose style was an individual refinement of the previous largely Newar influenced manners. The earliest source on him is sDe-srid Sangs-rgyas-mthso's Bai ?urya ya'sel, a work completed in 1688. According to sDe-srid, Bye'u or Byi'u (little bird) is named so because of his habit of roaming far and wide in search of fine examples of art. Although he is not an 'incarnate lama' still that epithet is implied merely as a respectful term for him as highly accomplished artist. From the sDe-srid account, little can be gleaned about the painting style of Byi'u except that he probably incorporated many diverging influences in his work. Shakab-pa asserted that old paintings attributed to the artist Byi'u-sgang-pa survived in western gTsang in such places as Sa-kya, Shel-kar, Byang-Ngam-ring, and also at rDzong-dkar in Gung-thang. Some of the main figures portrayed in these thangkas are said to have included Atisha and his main disciple 'Brom-ston, Sakya Pa]n]dita, Amit"ayus, Sarvavid Vairocana, mGon-po Ber, and Lha-mo. Shakab-pa did not substantiate any written sources for these statements, but it seems he actually saw in gTsang such thangkas painted in an old style attributed to Byi'u-sgang.

Shakab-pa also informs—again without indicating his source—that Byi'u was the reputed creator of the large appliqué-thangka (gos-sku) of Avalokiteshvara displayed at the Gyang-rtse dPal-khor chos-sde during the Sa-ga zlaba (fourth lunar month) holiday. The making of several other such great images in this period is also described in the sources, but without any mention so far traced of a sprul-sku Byi'u-sgang-pa. Thus according to Shakab-pa Byi'u the painter probably flourished at Gyang-rtse in about the first half of 15th century, the time of greatest artistic activity there.

The three major styles of Tibetan paintings developed in course of time in Tibet, viz., mKhyen-brtse chen-mo, actually flourished about one century earlier, in the mid 15th century, and he is said to have been a contemporary of sMan-thang-pa sMan-bla-don-grup. Both these styles are of Newar influence. The third one was Karma sGar-bris which developed in the 16th century and owed much Chinese influence.

Several outstanding painters and sculptors appeared in 1430's, but the greatest and most influential of them all was sMan-thang-pa sMan-bla-don-grup. He was born in sMan-thang district of northern Lho-brag, a region adjoining Bhutan. Consequently he later became known as sMan-thang-chen-mo or just sMan-thang-pa. His birth occurred in the second or third decades of 15th century. He was brilliant youth who quickly mastered many writing scripts that he was taught. His marriage eventually drove him into despair. He ran away and thereupon embarked on a wandering life. Once while at Yar-'brog sTag-lung (north-west of Yar-'brog), he happened to find a brush case and some example drawings, and from that point on he felt passionate interest in painting. He travelled to sTsang and such centers as Sa-kya in search of an expert painting master. In the end he met his teacher rDo-pa bkra-shis-rgyal-po, who was evidently one of the most skilled painters in his time. The style of painting he learnt was probably one of those found in great stupas of gTsang at Gyang-rtse in 1430's and 1440's. At certain point in his development, sMan-bla-don-grub hit upon a new stylistic synthesis for which he became famous. The tradition of painting that he then founded which continued down until the present is known as the sMan-ris or the painting style of sMan-thang-pa. The most significant stylistic innovation he made was the great degree to revise the proportions and composition of religious figures as well as developing the new pigment. Later he incorporated Chinese landscape and other features into the background. sMan-thang-pa also composed a major treatise on conometric theory and practice in which he set forth his tradition in detail. The work was entitled 'bde-bar gshegs-pai' sku gzugs kyi tshad kyi rab-tu byed-pa yid-bzin norbu.' The style of sMan-thang-pa was emulated, continued and further developed by many successive generations of artists. Initially, some of the householders of his style included members of his own family in fact a son and a nephew of his.

Another outstanding artist of the mid 15th century was the master artist mKhyen-brtse of Gong-dkar16. In fact, according to sDe-srid Sans-rgyas-rgya.mthso, both artist studied under the same master painter, rDo-pa bkra-shis-rgyal-po. mKhyen-brtse was from Gong-dkar sGang-stod south of Lhasa in Lho-kha district. The paintings for which he was best known were executed at the Gong-dkar-rDo-rje-gdan monastery. It is said that until the 1960', many of his murals survived there, such as his depiction of Avad"ana-kalpalat"a on the outer walls of the main assembly hall. mKhyen-brtse not only executed wonderful murals but also special thangkas for his patron, the lama of Gong-dkar-rDo-rje-gdan-pa. In addition to his mastery of paintings, mKhyen-brtse was also famed as an extraordinarily skilled sculptor. The chapels of the Gong-dkar-rDo-rje-gdan contained many large statues that he had made, some of them reaching the height of from one and half to two and half stories. The paintings developed by mKhyen-brtse was called mKhyen-ris [style of mKhyen-brtse]. The tradition is said to have incorporated some Chinese influences, but evidently not to the extant that of the sMan-ris had17. According to 13th Karma-pa the original mKhyen-ris differed in a technical aspect from the sMan-ris. mKhyen-ris artists said to have used thicker colours. Furthermore, they excelled in particular in the depiction of tantric deities.

After the establishment of sMan-ris and mKyen-brtse styles in the mid 15th century, several generations focussed without any further major development remembered by later historians. The next noteworthy style came into being only in the second half of the 16th century court-style of the great Karma-pa hierarchs. During this period, the great Karma-pa lamas lived in a larger tent 'city' that often moved, with great pomp and ceremony, from one district to another. This mobile headquarters of the Karma-pas was called 'the great Karma-pa Encampment' (Karma-sgar-chen). The main painting tradition, patronised in the encampment thus became known as Karma-sgar-bris 'the encampment style (sGar-bris)’.

The originator of the sGar-bris style is Nam-mkha'-bkra-shi. As a small child, he is said to have been recognized as an emanation of 8th Karma-pa Mi-bskyod-rdo-rje (1507-1554). He first studied painting under dKon-mchog Phen-bde of E, a district in southern dBu province. This painter was a follower of sMan-ris tradition and expert in proportions developed by Sharli, a metal casing school of India. To the traditions, dKon-mchog Phen-bde from E was the emanation of the Chinese princess who introduced much Chinese culture into Tibet is perhaps a strong indication toward Chinese painting styles. Be that it may, his student Nam-mkha'-bkra-shi as a mature artist later exceeded all his predecessors in this regard, and some western critics claim that his tradition came to show 'the great Chinese influence of any of the Tibetan schools’. His style was seen by another later Tibetan authority as a further step in the direction towards use of more dilute colours partly similar to a Chinese (painting), but (here the colours are) a bit more splendid than (in) that one. Everything receives dilute washes of excellent and soft shading18. The face and eyes are lively. On the other hand, according to Kong-sprul19, Nam-mkha'-bkra-shi completely divorced himself from the basic system of figure proportions that sMan-thang-pa had followed. He did, however, supplement those proportions with bodily forms and dimensions copied from old eastern Indian P"ala-Sena art metal statue (lima).

The sMan-ris was thus a point of departure for and strong early influence in the great sGar-bris founder Nam-mkha'-bkra-shi. In subsequent period it also similarly influenced such masters as the 10th Karma-pa and Situ-pan-chen of the 17th and 18th centuries, who studied it initially and then mainly followed other styles. Meanwhile, the sMan-ris tradition proper also continued to flourish in its own right. Since its foundation in the mid 15th century, the tradition was forward both by artists from sMan-thang-pa family and by an ever widening stream of other great artists. Furthermore, the sMan-ris tradition as it was later developed and handed down by subsequent masters became the basis for a number of regional schools, and thus its offshoots became the styles that predominated throughout rest of Tibet in modern times.


1. Tibet: A Chronicle of Exploration by John MacGregor (Great Britain, Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd., 1970.

2. Into Tibet : The Early British Explorers, George Woodcock (London, Feber and Feber, 1971), pp. 257

3. The Buddhism of Tibet or Lamaism, Manjushri Publication House, New Delhi, 1895, pp. xi.

4. Bihar and Orissa Research Journal, 1937 pp. 31.

5. King Utrayana and the Wheel of Life by Sermey Geshe Lobsang Tharchin, Mah"ay"ana Sutra and Tantra Press, Howell New Jersey, 1984.

6. Avad"ana-kalpalat"a of K_semendra Vol. 1. Mukt$alat$avad$anam.

7. The Mithila Institute, Darbhanga 1959 pp.100:

vkHk/oa fu"Øker ;qT;/oa cq)'kklusA

/kquhr e`R;qu% lSU;a uMkxkjfeo dqatj%Ï

;ks áfeu~ /keZfou;s vizeÙk'pfj";frA

izgk; tkfrlalkja nq%L;kUra dfj";frÏ izkfrgk;Zlw=ke~ Ï

Tibetan Vinaya text; f. 151b, Lhasa Edition.

8. The Principles of Tibetan Art by Gega Lama,vol. 1.Darjeeling W.B. 1983 pp.42.

9. Principles of Tibetan Art by Gega Lama,vol. 1.Darjeeling W.B. 1983 pp.42.

10. See, Art of India and Southeast Asia by Huge Munsterberg, Harry N. Abrams, Inc. Publishers New York 1970.

11. fo|kLFkkus iapfo/ks ;ksxeÑRok

loZKRoa uSfr dFkafpr~ ijekFkZ%A

bR;U;s"kka fuxzg.kkuqxzg.kk;

LokKkFk± ok r=k djksR;so l ;ksxe~Ï ¼egk;kulw=kkyadkj i`- 68½

12. Art of India and Southeast Asia by Huge Munsterberg, Harry N. Abrams, Inc. Publishers New York 1970.

13. Tibetan Painted Scrolls by G. Tucci (1949), vol.1.p.280.

14. A history of Tibetan Paintings by David Jackson, Verla Der Österreichischen Akademie Der Wissenschaften, Wien 1966, pp.82

15. Tibet: A Political History by W. D. Shakapa (1976) vol.1.pp. 108.

16. sDe-srid, bsTan bcos bai]durrya, vol. 1. pp. 583.1.

17. G. Tucci (1956), pp. 151, "I saw the assembly hall, where statues of the Buddhas of the Three times were surrounded by he eight Bodhisattvas; and the circumambulation corridor with good frescoes of the Lord Buddha’s life showing a marked Chinese influence."

18. E. G. Smith (1970), pp. 44f., n. 77, quotes bDud-’dul-rdo-rje: rim gyis tshon srab nyams ‘gyur khyad par can/ nam bris phyag bris sgar ris zhes su grags//

19. Kong-sprul, Shas bya kun khyab, pt. 1, pp.572.3 (om 209a)

Dialogue (A quarterly journal of Astha Bharati)                                                Astha Bharati