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Paintings > Thangka > Mandala of the Deity with a ‘Merciful Eye’
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Mandala of the Deity with a ‘Merciful Eye’

Mandala of the Deity with a ‘Merciful Eye’

Mandala of the Deity with a ‘Merciful Eye’

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Tibetan Thangka Painting

Size of Painted Surface 14.0 inches X 19.5 inches
Size with Brocade 24.5 inches X 34.0 inches
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Mandala of the Deity with a ‘Merciful Eye’

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Viewed 11256 times since 25th Jul, 2012
The painting portrays a red mandala of Sahasrabhuja (thousand-armed) Avalokiteshvara who is standing in the centre of the mandala on a lotus. Avalokiteshvara is one of the most popular deities of Mahayana Buddhism. He is the Bodhisattva of compassion and the manifestation of compassion of all Buddhas. He is the patron deity of Tibet. Tibetans call him Chenrezig, meaning "to look with a merciful eye". All the Dalai Lamas, Kings and Gesar of Ling are considered as incarnation of Avalokiteshvara. Here Avalokiteshvara has been depicted with eleven heads and thousand arms. In this manifestation Avalokiteshvara is Samantamukha or the "All-sided one" – the god who looks every direction to save all creature. The thousand hands have been formed an aura behind him, while the principal hands are held in front of the heart, holding wish-granting gem, which stands for the spirit of enlightenment that consists of love and wisdom. Only the first eight hands have particular symbols or gesture; the other 992 being all in varada-mudra, the gesture of presenting boon. The eleven heads of Avalokiteshvara are arranged in five series from below upwards of 3,3,3,1 and 1. The topmost head is that of Amitabha Buddha, the spiritual father of Avalokiteshvara. The eleven heads symbolize the 'synthesis of space' – the four directions, the four intermediate points, the centre, zenith and nadir. The wrathful head, below the head of Amitabha, symbolizes dominant action.

Outside the centre circle there is another larger concentric circle which is divided into eight lotus petals, each containing one of the eight auspicious symbols of Buddhism (Ashtamangala). Outside this is a square with four gateways, one in each cardinal direction. This central part of the Mandala rests on a crossed vajra. Then there is a circle of lotus petals following which finally is a protective ring of flames.

Located at the top and bottom of the Mandala are the five Dhyani Buddhas.

This artwork is a particular example of the special type of paintings known as red thangkas. A style requiring high technical virtuosity, all elements making up these painting are subsumed in the overall red field characteristic to this unique genre. Red is the color of powerful rituals and deeds. It is the color of passion, transmuted to discriminating wisdom. Such artworks are especially relevant in especially vigorous meditation rituals requiring equally potent meditative tools.

Click Here to View the Thangka Painting along with its Brocade

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