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Paintings > Thangka > An Especially Auspicious Mandala
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An Especially Auspicious Mandala

An Especially Auspicious Mandala

An Especially Auspicious Mandala

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Tibetan Thangka Painting

15.0" x 19.5"
Item Code:
TF99
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Viewed 2217 times since 2nd Oct, 2008
Mayadevi had successfully carried the Buddha-to-Be in her body for ten months without any complications or pain. Near the end of her pregnancy, she took a trip to her parental home to have the baby there with her mother, an ancient custom that is still sometimes practiced. On the way however there was a pleasant grove, overflowing with a rich profusion of fruits and flowers. Desiring to rest among them, the queen instructed her party to put camp there. She stepped out of her palanquin and reached to grasp one of the branches of a flowering tree. No sooner had she done so than she felt the throes of giving birth. Standing thus, with her hand to the branch, she delivered, and the Buddha-to-Be emerged from his mother's right side.

At the center of the mandala, the lifted hand of Mayadevi grasps a tree, entwined around the branch in a manner identical to that of the tree goddesses and female tree-spirits (yakshis) of yore, who denoted fertility in early Indian art. Here, not only does her posture provide a powerful statement presenting her as fertility incarnate, but as the mother of the Buddha-to-Be, she is also the generative source of the enlightenment process.

Present at the time of birth was the Hindu god Brahma. Normally in those ancient circumstances, everything connected with death, birth, excrement, and blood would have been considered unclean. The presence of this important deity of the Hindu pantheon has significance over and above political interpretations. It indicates that the birth in question was non-defiling one, graced by Brahma's auspicious presence. In this painting, Brahma is easily recognized by his four heads (three visible and fourth invisible at the back), blessing the new-born baby.

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