Manjushri Thangka Painting from Nepal
A thangka is a Tibetan painting that is traditionally used as a support for one’s meditation practice. The imagery depicted in Tibetan paintings provides a guide for the elaborate visualizations that one does in Tibetan Buddhist practice. In Tibetan homes and monasteries, thangkas are considered sacred objects and are often placed above shrines.
Manjushri is the Bodhisattva of transcendent wisdom. With Avalokitesvara and Vajrapani he protects the Tathagata family, which includes Buddha Shakyamuni and Buddha Vairochana. According to a sacred text Manjushri came from China to Nepal on a pilgrimage. At that time the Kathmandu Valley was a big lake.The legend says that Manjushri saw a strong light coming from a lotus flower in the center of the lake so he cut a gorge with his flaming sword to drain the lake. Since then people could live in the Kathmandu valley and the the majestic Swayambhunath Stupa was build where the lotus flower settled.
There are different representations of Manjushri and several manifestations as well. In this thangka painting he is depicted in the most common form as a beautiful young prince with orange or yellow skin. Manjushri holds in his right hand a flaming sword which is the figurative weapon that destroy ignorance and transforms it in transcendent wisdom (fire is symbol of transformation). His left hand is positioned in front of his heart holding the stem of a lotus which bears the Prajnaparamita sutra representing the realization and perfection of wisdom and intelligence.
He is also one of the three “great Bodhisattvas, along with Avalokiteshvara and Vajrapani. Broadly speaking, they represent three critical concepts, or the three virtues of the Buddha:
Manjushri:wisdom and insight (prajna)
Avalokiteshvara:compassion and love (metta)
Vajrapani:power and strength and protection.
Om Ah Ra Pa Tsa Na Dhi
100% Cotton Canvas
Preparing the Cotton canvas before starting to paint a Thangka. This process includes washing, drying, stretching, sizing and everything needed to make a perfect base for the thangka to last for centuries.
Thangka Paintings are painted using the natural minerals. These are firstly grind into the powder form and then used in the thangka as a paint.
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