Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Teacher (Lama) - Gomchung Sherab Changchub

བླ་མ། 喇嘛
(item no. 418)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Kagyu and Buddhist
Size 80.01x50.17cm (31.50x19.75in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# P1996.28.7
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Appearance: Monastic

Gender: Male

TBRC: P1841

Interpretation / Description

Gom Chung Sherab Jangchub (born after 1116): the nephew of Lord Gampopa, the youngest son of Gampopa's elder brother Gyapa Sere.

At the lower left is the middle son, Chung Drag Dze. At the lower right is Gom Shidze, a student of Gampopa. At the top left is an Acharya wearing a pandita hat. A yogi sits at the top right. At the bottom left is Chakrasamvara in Heruka form with one face and two hands. At the bottm left is the wrathful enlightened protector Shri Devi, Dorje Rabtenma, riding atop a brown mule.

After the passing of Gampopa, the eldest nephew Acharya Gompa Tsultrim Nyingpo (1116-1169) held the abbatial chair of Gampo Monastery, and after him the youngest nephew Gom Chung Sherab Jangchub held the chair for 2 years.

Jeff Watt 9-2000

The earliest available biography of Gomchung Sherab Jangchub, an extremely brief one composed by Zhang Yudrakpa Tsondru Drakpa (zhang g.yu brag pa brtson 'grus grags pa), tells us only that he was named Rongchung (rong chung) after his region, and that he received the name Sherab Jangchub on the occasion of his full ordination. Fortunately this picture can be filled out a little bit by later sources. He was a direct disciple of Gampopa Sonam Rinchen (sgam po pa bsod nams rin chen, 1079-1153), receiving from him all the precepts and empowerments. Indeed, Gampopa was his uncle, since his father was Gampopa’s elder brother named Gyapa Sere (rgya pa se re). His mother was named Tsecham (tshe lcam). Gomchung’s oldest brother was the better-known Gompa Tsultrim Nyingpo (sgom pa tshul khrims snying po, 1116-1169) also known as Gomtsul, and he had still another brother named Drakdze. He succeeded his brother Gomtsul as the third abbot of Daklha Gampo Monastery (dwags lha sgam po). Since this must have occurred immediately after Gomtsul’s death in 1169, and since Gomchung himself died in his forty-fourth year, it is probable that his dates are 1128-1171. Still, it is difficult to be certain, especially since one modern source dates him to 1130-1173.

The Religious History of Lhorong (lo rong chos 'byung) tells of some of Gomchung’s miraculous abilities. He could start fires by simply holding his breath and pointing his finger and could make himself invisible. This source is the only one that tells us how he died. He fell off a rock at the retreat place of Gampo Zanglung (sgam po zangs lung). In each of the places where his blood spattered rainbows appeared and there was a shower of flowers. His disciples made reliquaries at each of these spots. Following him in the abbatial succession was Dakpo Duldzin (dwags po 'dul 'dzin, 1134-1218).

Dan Martin is a scholar based in Israel. He received his Ph.D. from Indiana University in 1991.

[Extracted from the Treasury of Lives, Tibetan lineages website. Edited and formatted for inclusion on the Himalayan Art Resources website. November 2015].

Front of Painting
Wylie Transliteration of Inscription: slo [?] dpon nyo [?] ming. rjna'''''''''''''''' re ba [?]. sgom chung shes rab byang chub la na mah. gcung grags mdzes. sgom zhi mdzes.

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery VII
Tradition: Kagyu Teachers (Paintings)
Painting Style: Karma Gardri (Late Paintings & Copies)
Subject: Hidden Images In Painting