About the Artwork

This thangka, from the Khandro Thugthik or 'Dakini Heart Essence' cycle of the Dudjom Tersar lineage, depicts the dakini Yeshe Tsogyal with three peaceful deities above, and the three principle protectors of the Dzogchen and 'Revealed Treasure' or terma tradition of the Nyingma School below. The Khando Thugtik practice arose spontaneously as a 'mind treasure' to Dudjom Rinpoche when he was just twenty-five years of age. The main practice relates to the dakini Yeshe Tsogyal in her outer, inner, secret, and innermost secret forms. In this composition the lower assembly consists of the three Dzogchen and terma protectors, Ekajati, Rahula and Dorje Legpa, who are concisely known in Tibetan as the 'mother, planet and oath-bound trinity' (ma gza' dam gsum).

At the center stands the dakini Khandro Yeshe Tsogyal, who is naked and radiant white in color, with a slightly wrathful expression, two eyes and two arms. She stands upright with her two legs straight upon the white moon disk of her pink lotus-seat, with her left foot flat and her right foot slightly raised. Her rainbow-like aura radiates with the scintillating golden light rays that emanate from her body, and she is encircled by a profusion of flowers.

Directly below Yeshe Tsogyal is the female protector Ekajati (Tib: ral chig ma), meaning the 'Single Lock of Hair'. As a guardian of powerful mantras Ekajati is maroon or dark red in color, and extremely wrathful and fierce in appearance. She is endowed with one single sagging breast, one sharp triangular tooth, one baleful red eye that stares piercingly from her forehead, and a single braided 'iron' hair-lock that rises up from the crown of her head. She stands in pratyalidha posture, with her two feet crushing underfoot a demonic enemy that lies upon the golden sun-disc of her multicolored lotus, and her radiant aura is encircled by a blazing mass of awareness fire and clouds.

In the lower left is Khyabjug Chenpo Rahula, the 'All-pervading great planetary and eclipse demon' Rahu or Rahula, who is extremely wrathful and maroon in color, with four arms and ten heads. His lower body takes the form of a coiling naga-serpent, which writes within a swirling ocean of blood. His powerful upper body is endowed with a 'thousand eyes' that appear all over his torso and arms, and in his pot-bellied stomach is a voracious face that can swallow the sun, moon, and planets.

In the lower right is Damchen Dorje Legpa (Skt. Vajra Sadhu), the 'Oath-bound Indestructible Excellence', who controls all the various classes of proud or 'arrogant spirits' (dregs pa). He is ferocious and dark red in color, with three round red eyes, a gaping mouth, a twisting red tongue, sharp white teeth, and upward-blazing facial hair. His vehicle is a fierce white snow lion with a turquoise mane, which he rides swiftly upon amidst a billowing mass of wind and dark storm clouds.

At the top center of this composition is Amitabha, the red Buddha of 'Boundless Light' and the 'Lord of the Padma or Lotus Family' to which both Yeshe Tsogyal and Guru Rinpoche belong. Amitabha sits in vajra-posture upon his moon and lotus seat, wearing the three red robes of a monk, and supporting a blue alms-bowl with his two hands that rest upon is lap in the dhyana-mudra of meditation.

In the top left corner is white Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of great compassion, who sits in a posture of royal-ease upon his moon and lotus seat amongst the clouds. Top right is red Vajradharma (Tib. rdo-je chos), a peaceful manifestation of Vajrapani, and the primordial Buddha of the 'mother' or wisdom class of tantra. With his hands crossed before his heart in vajrahumkara-mudra he holds the wisdom and method attributes of a vajra and bell.

© text by Robert Beer

Popular Images

About Our Prints


PEM Custom Prints offers exclusive custom reproductions of artworks in the collections of the Peabody Essex Museum. Hand-made in the USA using gallery-quality materials, we create prints as true to the original work as possible, using strict color management protocols and state-of-the-art printing technology.


Many of the works offered through this store are exclusive and not available anywhere else. We are continually adding new artworks to our offering, so be sure to check back regularly as you build your own gallery. A variety of molding styles means our custom framed prints can match any type of decor.

Member Discounts

PEM Members receive their 10% discount for all PEM Custom Prints purchases. Simply enter your valid member number into the form at checkout and the discount will be applied to the items in your cart. Member discounts cannot be combined with other offers.