Buddhist Art from the Roof of the World: Transmission of the Dharma highlights the importance of the relationship between a teacher, often a high-level monk, and an adherent, or devotee. Great monks throughout history are regarded as reincarnations of deities and perform the duties of teachers both through example and direct instruction. Drom Tonpa, recognized as the first Dalai Lama, was the disciple of Atisha, the Indian master who brought essential teachings of Buddhism to Tibet in the mid-eleventh century. Both are represented in this exhibition, one in paint, the other in gilt bronze. Teachers of the Geluk sect and their lineage, represented here in a set of seven paintings, helped establish schools of thought that became codified, and eventually gained political importance.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.