A Masterpiece Restored: LACMA's Tibetan Painting of Yama and Yami

A Monastery's Protectors

Images of Buddhist protective deities, such as this painting of Yama and Yami, are displayed during special ritual ceremonies performed in the holiest area of a Tibetan monastery, called the gonkang (Protectors’ Chapel). In this dimly lit room are large, wrathful images of the tutelary deities who are associated particularly with the monastery. Because of their tremendous power, these images are generally concealed by a cloth, which is removed for the ceremonies. The rituals invoking the protection of the Dharmapala are performed primarily to obtain earthly blessings such as wealth or longevity, or to overcome enemies, destructive natural forces, and negative energies preventing enlightenment.

Conservator, (2007)

In a side chapel of the Samstenling Monastery in Sumur

Khen Rinpoche Kachen Lobzang Tsetan

Khen Rinpoche Kachen Lobzang Tsetan

Entrance to the Protectors’ Chapel (gonkang)

The main assembly hall of Hemis Monastery

The altar in the Protector’s Chapel (gonkang)