Sakya Raktayamari Initiation with Lineage and Landscape
Artist/maker unknown, Tibetan
This extraordinary painting depicts a monastic initiation into the worship of Raktayamari, the red-skinned, life-prolonging deity at top center. The central monk officiates, pouring a golden libation on the initiate seated in the lower-left corner. Table altars placed in front of both figures are set with ritual items. Bolts of silk, stacks of books, a bundle of rolled paintings, and stuffed brown sacks-given by the initiate to finance this expensive ritual-surround the young monk. In the lower-right corner rides the protective goddess Paldan Lhamo with her pair of dice, a disease-filled bag, and a magic thread ball that she uses to determine the lifespan of individuals.