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Acquired 1932

Upasaka Dharmatala (Tibetan: dGe bsnyen dhar ma ta la)

Tibetan Buddhist Thangka

The twelve Thangka paintings on show at the Albert Bender exhibition are part of a wider collection comprising twenty-one that illustrate the Arhats (disciples) of Buddha, and the Four Guardians of the Four Quarters of the World.

When they were acquired by the National Museum of Ireland in 1932, they were stated as having come from a single temple. Such a collection of Thangkas is rare.

Upasaka Dharmatala (Tibetan: dGe bsnyen dhar ma ta la)

His name translates as ‘one who increases Buddha’s teachings’. He is found only in the Chinese and Tibetan series of Eighteen Arhats, and is regarded as a layman who was servant to the original Indian group of Sixteen Arhats. He is renowned for his wisdom and learning and is characterised by long hair tied on the top of his head.

A vase and fly-whisk are held in his hands, and a tiger accompanies him to his right hand side. In this Thangka he is seated before a representation of the Buddha Amitabha.

Learn more about this collection of Thangkas


Upasaka Dharmatala (Tibetan: dGe bsnyen dhar ma ta la) is located at:
Decorative Arts & History

Previous artefact:

Bhadra (Tibetan: bZang po)

Next artefact:

Bodhisattava Head

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