Lotus-Born Padmasambhava

15th century

Rubin Museum of Art

Rubin Museum of Art
New York, United States

A legendary tantric master, Padmasambhava is the father of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism, to which Rongbuk Monastery belongs. Stories about his travels throughout the Himalayas, and the sites where he tamed and converted local spirits are considered sacred. One such episode takes place in the Rongbuk Valley, where Padmasambhava defeated the practitioners of Bon, Tibet's indigenous religion. When a Bon lama accosted Padmasambhava with his magical drum on Everest's peak, the lama perished. Now when the rumble of an avalanche is heard, locals say the spirits are beating the lost drum.

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  • Title: Lotus-Born Padmasambhava
  • Date: 15th century
  • Date Created: 15th century
  • Physical Dimensions: H 6.5 x W 4.75 x D 3.75 in.
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: Rubin Museum of Art, C2005.16.36
  • Medium: Silver, gilt copper alloy with inlays of turquoise and coral
  • Place of Creation: Tibet
  • Exhibition History: Rubin Museum of Art, "Masterworks: Jewels of the Collection" (02/06/13 - 01/13/14), Rubin Museum of Art, "In the Shadow of Everest: Photographs by Tom Wool" (02/26/10 - 07/26/10), Rubin Museum of Art, "Bon: The Magic Word" (10/05/07 - 04/14/08), Rubin Museum of Art, "What is it? Himalayan Art" (10/27/05 - 06/25/07)