Atisha was the head of the massive Vikramashila monastery in north India, an institution that granted the learned degree of pandita, here indicated by his yellow hat. In 1042 he traveled to Tibet at the invitation of the Western Tibetan king Yeshe ‘Od to help purify Buddhist practices. Key was Atisha’s position as part of an unbroken chain of student-teacher relationships going back to the Buddha himself; hence the depictions of his own teachers in the upper corners. Done after his death, this Tibetan portrait shows him as an enlightened being with a halo seated on an elaborate jeweled throne. His right hand is held in a gesture of discourse or teaching, while in his left he holds what appears to be a palm-leaf manuscript. The tangka can be dated securely from an inscription on the reverse naming known historical figures.