In 1995 Kumar Lama met Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen in Nepal. They have come to know of him for his intricate knowledge of Vajrayana symbolism and his capacity to bring visionary images to life. Kumar Lama a personal friend Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen , and they have Kumar Lama has accepted the challenge of painting a series of thangkas for the Confederate Sanghas of Aro, depicting all the lineage Lamas of the Aro gTér: Yeshé Tsogyel, Ma-gÇig Labdrön, Jomo Menmo, Jomo Chhi’èd Pema, Jomo Pema ’ö-Zér, Rang-rig Togden, Khyungchen Aro Lingma, Aro Yeshé, A-yé Khandro, A-shé Khandro, Akyong Düd’dül Dorje, Gomchenma Künzang Rang-rig Longtsal, and the five Dakini Mothers of Aro Yeshé - Khandro Ja’ gyür ’ö-Zér Nyima; Khandro Chö-ying Nyima ’ö-Zér; Khandro Rig’dzin Gong-tsal Takmo; Khandro Tsé-wang Gyür’mèd Pema; and Khandro Shardröl Rinchen Wangmo.
Ngak’chang Rinpoche say of Kumar Lama: “Kumar Lama is magnificent—both as a person and as a visionary artist. His magnificence lies his precision and consummate fluid ease. His paintings are luminous and clear in their sumptuous simplicity. His sense of harmony and visual balance are both natural and the result of utter dedication to the minutiæ, in terms of symbolic significance. Often where other lesser painters might flounder in terms of the unusual qualities of gTérma images, Kumar Lama is both inspiringly confident and relaxed. He truly lives in the sphere in which he portrays these fabulous realities, and it is an honour to be his friend.”
Khandro Déchen comments: “The Aro gTér lineage Lamas Kumar Lama has painted, have brought our lineage alive for students in a remarkable way – and in a way which we believe would have proved insurmountably difficult for many other thangka painters. There are few easily available images within the iconography of Vajrayana which portray powerful middle aged women – and the Aro gTér is made up almost entirely of such women. Lamas are usually painted as being the age they were when they had accomplished something important – so Aro Lingma is shown as a young woman and Aro Yeshé is shown as a boy of eight years. A-yé Khandro and A-shé Khandro are shown as teenage girls and the five mothers are shown from varying ages from 23 to 64. Kumar Lama’s skill and elaborate knowledge of Vajrayana visionary appearances enables him to execute work of the most inspiring kind and give a depth and breadth of the history of the Aro gTér which would otherwise not have been possible.”
Aro-Ter Lineage Line
Bodhi House Retreat Center, Olympia Washington
Kumar Lama taught the art of Thangka painting at The Evergreen State College from June 25 to July 1, 2004. The students had the opportunity to learn about the traditional training of a Thangka painter; they practiced drawing and painting and understood the rich iconography of Tibetan Buddhism.
Kumar Lama is an outstanding teacher. His gentle manner, sense of humor, and genuine interest in student's progress helped every student to succeed and to shine. Kumar Lama is able to prepare well thought-out sequential lessons that allow the students to become grounded and to develop technical skills.
Kumar Lama is a Master Artist and a National Treasure. His command of the painting mediums and his in-depth knowledge of Tibetan Buddhism make him a unique Art teacher. For the students of The Evergreen State College the opportunity to paint with and learn from Kumar Lama was a gift of a lifetime.
The Evergreen State College