Seated Shashabhujadharini Vasudhara

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Devi Vasudhara is an Indian-origin Bodhisattva of the Newar tradition. As a gentle shashabhujadharini (the one possessed of six arms) whose name translates to a stream (‘dhara’) of jewels (‘vasu’), She is considered the Buddhist equivalent of Devi Lakshmi, especially Her Bhoodevi aspect. The thangka that you see on this page depicts the sweet Vasudhara seated in a rudimentary bhadrasana.

The stance of the feet resembles that of the Devi Tara in Her various iconographies, which means that it is atypical of the Buddhist Devi iconography in general. The complexion of Her body has the roseate glow of moist, fertile earth. She is wearing a dhoti of silk tied below the navel. The torso is bare but for the sapphires, rubies, and emeralds of Her shringar. There is something unearthly about the gentle composure of Her countenance. It is accentuated by the stance of Her neck and the half-shut eyes, which indicate that She may be gazing upon ihaloka (mortal realm of existence). It is accentuated by the large kundalas (danglers) in Her karna (ears) and the extensively bejewelled crown on Her head.

The throne of Vashudhara is the belly of a lotus with gigantic, multicoloured petals. An ornate, solid aureole behind Her back. A pale peach-coloured halo the shape of a handheld rice huller. Finally, the vibrant jewel tones of the colour palette. All these are hallmarks of the expressive, Newar-style thangka.

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Item Code: TH02
Specifications:
Tibetan Thangka Painting
Dimensions 14.7 inch x 20.2 inch
Handmade
Handmade
Free delivery
Free delivery
Fully insured
Fully insured
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
Fair trade
Fair trade
Vasudhara, goddess of abundance is the consort of Kuvera, the god of wealth.

Represented with six arms she holds in the lower left hand her characteristic symbol, the treasure vase. The hand above holds another distinguishing attribute, the ears of corn (Tib. 'bru'I sne ma). The third left hand holds a book, the Prajnaparamita sutra.

The lower right hand is in the varada mudra of charity; the one above holds three precious wish-fulfilling jewels, while the upper hand makes a mudra of salutation. The right leg is pendent, and the foot is unsupported resting upon a vase.

Each of our thangkas comes framed in silk brocade and veil, ready to be hung in your altar.

Click here to view an image of this thangka with brocade.

Size of the thangka with brocade : 1.8ft X 2.7ft

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References:

Beer, Robert. The Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs. Boston: Shambhala Publications, 1999.

Getty, Alice. The Gods of Northern Buddhism. New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal, 1978.

Lipton, Barbara, and Ragnubs, Nima Dorjee. Treasures of Tibetan Art: Collection of the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Pal, Pratapaditya. Art of Tibet. Los Angeles: The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1990.

Rhie, Marylin M. & Thurman, Robert A.F. Wisdom and Compassion: The Sacred Art of Tibet. London: Thames and Hudson, 1996.

Unveiling the Divine Art: Journey into the Making of Thangkas

A Thangka is a traditional Tibetan Buddhist painting that usually depicts a Buddhist Deity (Buddha or Bodhisattva), a scene, or a mandala. These paintings are considered important paraphernalia in Buddhist rituals. They are used to teach the life of the Buddha, various lamas, and Bodhisattvas to the monastic students, and are also useful in visualizing the deity while meditating. One of the most important subjects of thangkas is the Bhavacakra (the wheel of life) which depicts the Art of Enlightenment. It is believed that Thangka paintings were developed over the centuries from the murals, of which only a few can be seen in the Ajanta caves in India and the Mogao caves in Gansu Province, Tibet. Thangkas are painted on cotton or silk applique and are usually small in size. The artist of these paintings is highly trained and has a proper understanding of Buddhist philosophy, knowledge, and background to create a realistic and bona fide painting.
The process of making a thangka begins with stitching a loosely woven cotton fabric onto a wooden frame. Traditionally, the canvas was prepared by coating it with gesso, chalk, and base pigment.
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After this, the outline of the form of the deity is sketched with a pencil or charcoal onto the canvas using iconographic grids. The drawing process is followed in accordance with strict guidelines laid out in Buddhist scriptures. The systematic grid helps the artist to make a geometrical and professional painting. When the drawing of the figures is finalized and adjusted, it is then outlined with black ink.
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Earlier, a special paint of different colors was made by mixing powdered forms of organic (vegetable) and mineral pigments in a water-soluble adhesive. Nowadays, artists use acrylic paints instead. The colors are now applied to the sketch using the wet and dry brush techniques. One of the characteristic features of a thangka is the use of vibrant colors such as red, blue, black, green, yellow, etc.
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In the final step, pure gold is coated over some parts of the thangka to increase its beauty. Due to this beautification, thangkas are much more expensive and also stand out from other ordinary paintings.
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Thangka paintings are generally kept unrolled when not on display on the wall. They also come with a frame, a silken cover in front, and a textile backing to protect the painting from getting damaged. Because Thangkas are delicate in nature, they are recommended to be kept in places with no excess moisture and where there is not much exposure to sunlight. This makes them last a long time without their colors fading away. Painting a thangka is an elaborate and complex process and requires excellent skills. A skilled artist can take up to 6 months to complete a detailed thangka painting. In earlier times, thangka painters were lamas that spent many years on Buddhist studies before they painted.
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