Bhim Shakya's Dream: Painting Padmasambhava

Happening Issue 63 Jul, 2010
Text by Roshan Gurung

Bhim Shakya spent many years in  Lhasa during which time  he worked on silver, making designs. (see ECS October 2006 pg. 77.) Today, he works at his home in Patan, painting statues after his helpers have completed their part. His specialty is the statue of Guru Rinpoche also known as Panmasambhava. At first Shakya knew very little about the revered Rinpoche, but one day he saw him in a dream. “I saw him turn into Bajradhar and then he started receding until he vanished. I clearly remember him disappearing towards the west. That is the direction Bajradhar is said to have taken,” reminisces Bhim. What is remarkable about the dream is that afterwards, he could remember every detail of Padmasambhava’s clothing and when he told his friends, they were amazed and said, “That’s very lucky. Very few people are lucky enough to see him in a dream.” Since then, Bhim Shakya has been very successful, painting on statues of Padmasambhava. He remembers the colors of each and every part of his clothing. The painting alone takes about two weeks. “There are five layers of clothing including an inner garment and an overcoat,” informs Shakya. Painting on the gilded surface of the statue, he transforms it into a colorful artwork  with great skill. “Nobody has been able to duplicate my art and people still come to me,” says Bhim proudly.

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