Seeing the Sacred in Samsara | Donald Lopez + Tenzin Namgyal Tethong

Get a fascinating glimpse of the tantric yogis of medieval India at this illustrated lecture. Renowned Professor of Buddhist Studies Donald S. Lopez Jr. converses with Tenzin Tethong, whose collection of paintings forms the basis of Lopez’s new book, Seeing the Sacred in Samsara.

This fascinating art book features full-color, full-scale paintings of each of the 84 Indian mahasiddhas, tantric Buddhist saints known for their supernatural powers, esoteric iconography, and often wild, seemingly transgressive behaviors. Unlike monks and nuns who renounce the world, these saints sought the sacred in the midst of samsara. Some were simple peasants who meditated while doing manual labor. Others were kings and queens who traded the comfort and riches of the palace for the danger and transgression of the charnel ground. Still others were sinners—pimps, drunkards, gamblers, and hunters—who transformed their sins into sanctity.

Lopez will offer historical, aesthetic, and religious insights, giving audience members a sense of the nuanced narratives and themes illustrated in the paintings, while Tenzin Tethong will speak to his remarkable family history and the origins of the paintings.

A book signing will follow the program.











When: Wed., August 14, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Where: Rubin Museum of Art
150 W. 17th St.
212-620-5000
Price: $25
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Get a fascinating glimpse of the tantric yogis of medieval India at this illustrated lecture. Renowned Professor of Buddhist Studies Donald S. Lopez Jr. converses with Tenzin Tethong, whose collection of paintings forms the basis of Lopez’s new book, Seeing the Sacred in Samsara.

This fascinating art book features full-color, full-scale paintings of each of the 84 Indian mahasiddhas, tantric Buddhist saints known for their supernatural powers, esoteric iconography, and often wild, seemingly transgressive behaviors. Unlike monks and nuns who renounce the world, these saints sought the sacred in the midst of samsara. Some were simple peasants who meditated while doing manual labor. Others were kings and queens who traded the comfort and riches of the palace for the danger and transgression of the charnel ground. Still others were sinners—pimps, drunkards, gamblers, and hunters—who transformed their sins into sanctity.

Lopez will offer historical, aesthetic, and religious insights, giving audience members a sense of the nuanced narratives and themes illustrated in the paintings, while Tenzin Tethong will speak to his remarkable family history and the origins of the paintings.

A book signing will follow the program.

Buy tickets/get more info now