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Paintings > Thangka > The Resolve to Enlightenment
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The Resolve to Enlightenment

The Resolve to Enlightenment

The Resolve to Enlightenment

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Tibetan Thangka Painting

Size of Painted Surface 14.5" X 18.0"
Size with Brocade 26.0" X 32.0"
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The Resolve to Enlightenment

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Viewed 3926 times since 2nd Oct, 2008
The central figure of this mandala is Akshobhya Buddha, who is seated in the center of the inner square of the mandala. His body is of the color of gold . His right hand is in earth-touching gesture, while the left hand is in meditation position and holding a pindapatra. Like his name Akshobhya 'unshakable' he symbolizes a firm bodhicitta or resolve to enlightenment, a firmness equal to that of the vajra. Absorbed in the perfection of mirror-contemplation (adarsha-jnana) he destroys demons and passions and preside over the deities who symbolize the pure bodhicitta. Dwelling in the 'adamantine and majestically adorned world' in the east, he embodies the virtues of bodhicitta. He possesses the Great Round mirror knowledge, which sees that the bodhicitta is possessed by equally by unenlightened beings and by awakened Buddha, and so is like a mirror that reflects all things without discrimination.

The Buddha is surrounded with eight personages. Four more personages are depicted outside the inner square. The remaining area inside the square is filled with stylized designs. There are four gateways in the square. The walls of the square are decorated with floral designs. Over the gates are houses in which are seated protector deities.

The upper center of the building depicts Heruka Yab-Yum. Two divinities are depicted on either side of each gate outside the walls. The square is surrounded with four circles. The outer circle is of the charnel ground, followed by the circle of fire fence, which is florally rendered here. Then there is a circle of auspicious symbols, divinities, and wisdom fire. After this comes a circle of lotus petals. Here the spiritual realm begins and one enters the mandala.

The upper center of the painting is rendered with the figures of Vajrakila Father-Mother. There are two wrathful deities each side of Vajrakila. There is wisdom fire with cloud areole behind Vajrakila Father-Mother. The upper left corner is filled with the figure of Prajnaparamita. She is seated in the courtyard before a shrine and is attended by two deities. The upper right corner is rendered with the figure of Shadakshari Lokeshvara in the courtyard before a shrine and also attended by two deities. Below the figures of Prajnaparamita and Shadakshari Lokeshvara, wathful deities are dancing and below them are Garuda and Dragon, respectively.

At the bottom, two Adepts are depicted under the trees in the left and right corners. The Bottom center is rendered with the figures of Heruka Father-Mother, flanked by ferocious deities.

The thangka is replete with the figures of wrathful and other deities. According to the Sadhanamala Akshobhya is associated with the wrathful deities. Amongst the deities emanating from Akshobhya are Heruka and his Yab-Yum form, Vajrakila, Hevajra and so on. The painting is finely drawn and painted. It is very much suitable for esoteric sadhana and practices.

This description is by Dr. Shailendra K. Verma, whose Doctorate thesis is on "Emergence and Evolution of the Buddha Image (From its inception to 8th century A.D.)".

Click Here to View the Thangka Painting along with its Brocade

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