Snow-covered peaks and blue-green rocky cliffs with tumbling waterfalls rise behind Milarepa as he sits at ease on a splendidly colourful lotus with his white robe loosely draped around him. A red colored meditation belt, used during long sessions of meditation to keep the body upright, is slung across his right shoulder.
Surrounding him are the main personages and deities of his life experience. On the central axis, above his head, which is beautifully framed by a lilac-colored halo, is the seated figure of Marpa, his teacher. Above Marpa is the dark blue Vajradhara, the supremely eminent Buddha. Tilopa, with the golden fish, and Naropa, with the skull bowl, the two Indian Great Adepts special to the lineage of Marpa and Milarepa, are to the left and right respectively, amid the profusion of clear cut clouds. These figures are the spiritual lineage of the Kagyupa (founded by Marpa) school.
On Milarepa's right is Rechungpa and to his left Gampopa, his two main, "moon and sun," disciples, respectively. Below his lotus pedestal, which rests on a rocky plateau spread with offerings, are the five flesh-eating Dakinis (Tseringma and her sisters), who threatened Milarepa with demonic visions during his meditation, but whom he conquered. Tseringma, chief of the sisters, rides an orange and white snow lion. Two dark blue and green snow lions lounge beside the group.
In the lower left corner the birth of Milarepa is depicted. A messenger (lower middle) is shown going to get the father at the market place (lower right), who returns home to give his son the name Topaga (return to lower left).
The shadowless figures in this painting seem to exist in a very pure world, one that irrevocably draws the viewer into its lovely environment and intriguing scenes.
This description by Nitin Kumar, Executive Editor, Exotic India.
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