Find thousands of books, manuscripts, visual materials and unpublished archives from our collections, many of them with free online access.

Episodes in the life of Prince Dri-med-kun-Idan. Distemper painting by a Tibetan painter.

  • Pictures

Selected images from this work

About this work


Prince Dri-med-kun-Idan, also known in Tibetan as Prince Thams-cad-sgrol (Saviour of all, literally "Liberating all"), in Sanskrit as Viśvantara, and in Pali as Vessantara, is a former incarnation of the Buddha Gautama. The prince was so compassionate that when asked for a wish-fulfilling gem belonging to his father the king, he took it and gave it away. He was exiled to Koṅ-po (Kongpo) in Tibet, near the Buchu geomantic temple, and by and by gave away his wife, his children and his eyes. After much hardship all these were restored to him. The story, in the form of a drama, is often performed in Tibet and in Southern Buddhist countries such as Burma and Sri Lanka

In the centre of the painting is Padma Sambhava (Tibetan Pa-dma-'byuṅ-gnas, "He who was born out of the Lotus"), generally called Guru Rinpoche ("precious teacher"), founder of the Nyingmapa school of Buddhism in Tibet



Physical description

1 painting : distemper on silk ; silk 63 x 52 cm

Publications note

Marianne Winder, Catalogue of Tibetan manuscripts and xylographs, and catalogue of thankas, banners and other paintings and drawings in the Library of the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, London 1989, p. 81-82, thankas banners and paintings no. 15


Wellcome Library no. 47067i

Permanent link

We’re improving the information on this page. Find out more.