Per tradition, Tsong Khapa is usually depicted wearing a tall hat, usually yellow, but in this thangka, it is colored in orange. He is the central figure in the Gelugpa sect in Tibet, the dominant sect in Tibet until the 1960s whose de facto spiritual leader is the Dalai Lama.
A close look at the painting shows Tsong Khapa sitting on a lotus throne while wearing three opulent monk’s robes. He is also depicted with a smiley face, which signals his state of mind.Zoom in on his hands and it shows a Dharmachakra mudra or the wheel of the mudra that symbolizes the Buddha’s first sermon after enlightenment. This gesture is also used to identify teachers in Buddhist art and is said to have been used to transform ignorance into reality. He holds a lotus stem on his left hand whose height is at the level of his ear. The blue lotus on his left side carries the scripture (Perfection of Wisdom with 8,000 lines) and a wish-granting jewel on top of it. The lotus flower on his right side appears to be carrying the Sword of Manjushri, a tool to cut down duality and ignorance. The lotus is pink which is the color of the flower reserved for the highest of deities.