Guru Tsongkhapa (Ganden Lha Gyäma) appeared in Tibet in the 14th century as the great revitalizer of Tibetan Buddhism. He is also known as Je Rinpoche. He is believed to be the manifestation of Guru Rinpoche himself. Guru Tsongkhapa emphasized the value of discipline in monastic institutions and the value of academic persuits and practice. He founded the Gelugpa tradition and among his closest disciples was Gedun Drub, later known as the First Dalai Lama.
He is said to be the emanation of Bodhisattva Manjushree. He is depicted holding a sword and a book and in a jolly mood. He wears the traditional monastic robes and is crowned with a yellow pandita hat with flaps.
Hats are one of the most unique and interesting features of Himalayan and Tibetan art. They are also the most important characteristic to look for when trying to identify religious teachers in paintings and sculpture. All of the different religious traditions, both Buddhist and Bon, have their own distinct hats. There is an almost endless variety of colours, shapes and styles.
The face of the statue is painted with a 24k gold mixture. The gold is crushed into a powder and then made into a paste. The gold paste is mixed with an organic paint mixture then used to paint the most important part of any Buddhist statue; the face.
This beautiful sculpture is hand crafted by the very talented artists of the beautiful Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal.