A RARE COPPER ALLOY FIGURE OF MANJUSHRI IN HIS HERO ASPECT.
Tibet, around 1800, height 21 cm.
Brown patina with decorative gold, silver and turquoise inlays. The lotus flower at his left shoulder is lost. The statue bears an inscription in Tibetan incised around the lotus basis identifying the figure and also mentioning its donor:
“...This sacred support was commissioned by rTa tshag pa.”
It refers to an incarnation lineage of Gelug masters. The most famous were the 8th and 10th rTa tshag who acted as regents over Tibet between 1789–90, 1791–1811 and 1875–86.
The lineage goes back to Baso Chokyi Gyaltsen (1402-73) but the first to bear the title of rTa tshag was the 6th incarnation Ngagwang Konchog Nyima (1653-1707). The previous incarnations were named rTa tshag retroactively as it is common among Tibetan masters.
From the 8th incarnation Yeshe Lobsang Tenpai Gonpo (1760-1810) on, the lineage settled in Kundeling monastery near Lhasa.
The inscription unfortunately does not provide further information regarding the exact identity of the master nor any specific period. Nevertheless, the use of “rTa tshag pa” as a name for the commissioner without any other precision could indicate an “obviousness” due to the celebrity of the character. Since the lineage became famous and settled in Lhasa with the 8th incarnation, it is possible this statue was commissioned during or after his life in the surroundings of the Kundeling monastery.
佛像通體呈精美的棕褐色銅綠，錯金銀工藝及鑲嵌綠松石。佛像左側肩部的蓮花遺失。佛像蓮花寶座上銘刻藏文，標明虔誠的供養人：“...尊奉，达察活佛。”“达察”格魯派的上師活佛的名称。最為廣為人知的是第8世和第10世的达察活佛，都分別在1789–90年， 1791–1811年和1875–86年，得到認證。达察活佛傳承世系可以追溯到巴索·曲吉坚参（1402-73），但第一次傳承活佛頭銜的是第六世的傳承化身，达察·阿旺工曲尼玛(1653-1707)。從第八世达察活佛，达察·益西罗桑丹贝贡布 (1760-1810)開始，此後歷代达察活佛都在拉薩的“永安寺”（藏語為功德林），常駐寺院。佛像上的銘文並沒有提供確切的活佛身份和確切的時期。但通過銘刻的“达察活佛”的標記，可以推斷出相對確切的世紀年代。