108 Masters of Dzogchen Lineage Thangkas Project. About the Project
Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche
The 108 Masters of the Dzogchen Lineage Thangkas Project is a major initiative that has been the vision and aspiration of Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche for more than 30 years. The aim is to uphold and preserve the highest teachings of Buddhist tradition - Dzogchen lineage - by commissioning the creation of 108 thangkas that depict the main holders of this lineage. Each thangka will depict the main master of the lineage with one or two of their individual yidam deities, two or three of their main teachers, and five or six of their main students. The background environment will be portrayed in accordance with an accurate description of their life events. Each thangka will include a representation of a particular dharma protector. Together these thangkas will tell the history of the lineage and its development, starting with dharmakaya Samantabhadra and passing through sambhogakaya Vajrasattva and then nirmanakaya masters such as Garab Dorje, Shri Singha, Vimalamitra, Padmasambhava, King Trison Deutsen and Yeshe Tsogyal, continuing with Longchenpa, Jigme Lingpa, and the three Jamgons, all the way down to contemporary masters such as Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro Rinpoche, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Dudjom Rinpoche, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, Nyoshel Khen Rinpoche, Drubwang Penor Rinpoche, Dodrupchen Rinpoche, and others.
Once the original paintings are completed, reproductions of the highest quality will be printed and sent to Nyingma monasteries around the world for the masters and students of the present day and future generations to use to teach, learn, and draw inspiration. Thus, the thangkas will authentically preserve the continuity of the Dzogchen lineage tradition; this continuity is referred to in Tibetan culture as "the golden thread".
The project's decision to commission these paintings from artists in the Himalayas will also help preserve the continuity and authenticity of thangka painting. At the same time, the 108 Dzogchen Masters Lineage Thangkas Project will provide financial support to local artists, giving their skills economic viability and benefitting the local Himalayan communities.