Padmasambhava (Primary Title)
Hoping to unite his fledgling empire by establishing a new religion, Tibet’s King Trisong Detsen invited India’s foremost Buddhist scholar, Shantarakshita, to oversee the building of a monastery. But every night, the local spirits dismantled what had been built during the day. Tibet’s conversion would thus require the intervention of a sorcerer who could subdue these spirits: Padmasambhava, a Vajrayana adept from the far north-west of India and founder of Tibet’s oldest Buddhist order, the Nyingma. His great powers are conveyed by his wrathful visage and the implements he bears: a trident-headed staff decorated with three heads in varying stages of decay, a skull cup filled with the nectar of immortality, and, now missing from his right hand, the ultimate spiritual weapon, the lightning bolt vajra.
2002-2003: "The Secret Visions of the Fifth Dalai Lama", Musée national des arts Asiatiques - Guimet, Paris, 11/5/2002-2/28/2003
1992-1993: "Mystic Visions: The Virginia Museum's Collection of Nepalese and Tibetan Art, VMFA, 7/6/92 - 1/3/93
1971: "Indo-Asian Art from the John Gilmore Ford Collection", The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, 1971.
Some object records are not complete and do not reflect VMFA's full and current knowledge. VMFA makes routine updates as records are reviewed and enhanced.