The narrative set of thankas depicting various events in the life of Tsong Khapa can be deciphered through the texts describing his biography. The first thanka, starting from the lower right and going clockwise (see detail), illustrates the phenomenal dreams of Tsong Khapa's parents. R. Thurman in The Life and Teachings of Tsong Khapa, 1980, pp. 4-33, describes the following: his mother dreams of being in a flower garden with a thousand women. She is chosen and ritually bathed by a boy dressed in white and a girl dressed in red holding peacock feathers. A large statue of Avalokiteshvara diminishes in size entering her womb. Tsong Khapa's father is also shown dreaming of Vajrapani. The scene under the tent takes place after his birth with supplicants bearing gifts. At left, a three year-old Tsong Khapa takes his layman's vows before the Fourth Karmapa. Other thankas illustrate Tsong Khapa's numberous travels, retreats, and debates throughout Tibet. The architecture depicted in the second thanka is the Shalu monastery.
The second detail illustrated takes place much later in Tsong Khapa's life. In 1409, when he was fifty-two, Tsong Khapa consecrated a gold crown and offered it and a silver begging bowl to the statue of Shakyamuni Buddha at the Jokhang Monastery in Lhasa. The crown still remains there.
For a detailed discussion of another set of biographical scenes from the life of Tsong Khapa, see G. Tucci, Tibetan Painted Scrolls, 1949, pp. 417-37. The present set is also remarkable for the use of silk brocade as a painting surface.