Dharma Chakra Buddha Mandala Gau Box

Item Code: ER62
Copper with Turquoise, Coral & Lapis Lazuli
Height: 8.2 inch
Width: 6 inch
Depth: 1.2 inch
Weight: 620 gm
Free delivery
Free delivery
Fully insured
Fully insured
Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
A mandala is a sacred diagram of the universe, and encompasses an area in which divine forces are present. A mandala also aids the devotees in meditation when he or she seeks to focus on divinities and to gain access to divine forces. While the Dharma wheel, which symbolizes the first teaching of the Buddha Shakyamuni, helps beings overcome from all obstacles and illusions. Moreover it brings a positive spiritual change in the minds of sentient beings.

The Gau box (Charm box) is in wide use in Tibet, Mongolia, China, and Nepal and throughout the Himalayan area mainly by the Buddhists. The Gau boxes are supposed to possessed talismanic properties. They are meant to ensure auspiciousness, to promote the fulfillment of aspirations, and to protect from harm. Most amulets offer general protection against common, recognized evils: malevolent spirits, witches and ghosts, the jealous eye, black magic, disease, death, infertility and general misfortunate. A Gau can consist of cloth fragments from a lama or saint, soil from a hallowed site, or any material upon which sacred prayers are inscribed. An amulet also contains the image of deity, grains of rice charged with sacred power in a tantric ritual.

The iconography on Gau boxes is consistent with the aims of the amulets contained within, Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, the personification of compassion assumes an auspicious one hundred and eight forms to respond to the needs of his devotees. His form Simhanada Lokeshvara is considered particularly effective curing diseases. The five Dhyani Buddhas represent the celestial aspects of the historical Buddha and his various powers. Together they form a sacred assembly, powerful and profoundly auspicious.

The front of the present Gau box depicts a mandala, and the central part of which portrays Shakyamuni Buddha in preaching pose. The image of the Buddha is made of copper. The border of his aureole and halo is made of mm sized red coral balls. The eight spokes of the wheel is made of faceted turquoise. The rim of the Wheel is made of thirty-one coral tubes.

The wheel in general is an ancient Indian symbol of creation, sovereignty, protection, and the sun. In Buddhism the wheel is the symbol of the Buddha's teachings and emblem of the 'chakravartin' or 'wheel turner' identifying the wheel as the Dharmachakra or 'wheel of law'. The Tibetan term for Dharmachakra literally means 'the wheel of transformation' or spiritual change. The wheel's swift motion symbolizes the rapid spiritual transformation revealed in the Buddha's teachings, and as a weapon of change, it represents the overcoming of all samsaric obstacles and illusions. Buddha's first discourse at the Deer Park in Sarnath is known as the first turning of the Wheel of Dharma of the Four Noble Truths – the truth of suffering, its origin, its cessation, and the truth of the Noble Eight Fold Path, which leads to the cessation of suffering.

The hub of the wheel symbolizes moral discipline, the eight spokes symbolizes analytical insight, and the rim, meditative concentration. The eight spokes point to the eight directions and symbolize the Buddha's Noble Eight Fold Path.

The space between the spokes of the Dharma wheel of this Gau box is decorated with repouse-work. The area outside the rim of the wheel is also decorated with similar design. The mandala has four gateways in four cardinal directions. A set of three turquoise balls are set in each four gateways and four corners of the square. Four half vajra are depicted in four corners, outside the building. The walls of the square are exquisitely decorated with sixty-seven red coral tubes and thirty-five turquoise rectangles. The Gau box can be suspended by a chain from the reel ornamented tube at the top. Twin large turquoise and an oval lapis lazuli are set on the front of the reel. At the bottom, a similar a reel ornamented tube appears capped with conical ends of turquoise, and below that is a ring for suspending other ornaments or tassel. The outer walls of the box are decorated with zig zag design of wire work with twenty-two triangular red corals.

Select Bibliography

Barbara Lipton & Nima D. Ragnubs, Treasures of Tibetan Art, New York, 1996

Hannelore Gabriel, Jewelry of Nepal, London, 1999

Jane Casey Singer, Gold Jewelry from Tibet and Nepal, London, 1996

Marylin M. Rhie & Robert A.F. Thurman, Worlds of Transformation: Tibetan Art of Wisdom and Compassion, New York, 1999

Oppi Untracht, Traditional Jewelry of India, Thames and Hudson, 1997

Robert Beer, The Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs, Boston, 1999

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.)".

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How are Nepalese copper statues made?

Nepalese statues and sculptures are best known for their unique small religious figures and ritual paraphernalia for over two thousand years. These are mainly cast in copper alloy. Nepal draws influences from the artistic styles of Buddhism and Hinduism, and therefore the sculptors of the country specialize in making the icons of both these religions. Over the years, Nepalese sculptures evolved into their own distinctive iconography. Some characteristic features of these sculptures that differ from other pieces are exaggerated physical postures, youthful and sensual features, languid eyes, wider faces having serene expressions, and ornate flourishes. The Buddhist deity icons of Nepal have tremendous demand in countries such as China and Tibet for ritual purposes in their temples and monasteries.

Nepalese statues and sculptures have a high copper content and therefore develop a slightly reddish patina on the surface as they age. However, the most unique feature of Nepalese copper statues is their decorative detailing. The pieces are heavily gilded and sometimes inlaid with semi-precious stones. This embellishment protects them from getting tarnished. The traditional lost-wax method for casting Nepalese copper statues remains the most practiced technique in Nepal for many centuries. This process involves many steps and requires skilled artists.

The first step in lost-wax sculpting is to make a wax replica of the desired Buddhist deity to be cast in copper. This replica is created by hand and therefore needs excellent artistic skills otherwise fine features will be lacking.

Once the wax replica is made, it is then coated with a special mixture of clay with a brush. This layer of clay is hardened when left to dry. A small hole is made on the base of the wax mould so that the wax flows away when it is heated.
At this stage, a hollow mould in the shape of the deity is obtained.

This is the time to pour liquid copper into the hollow mould which is then allowed to cool and harden inside a container of cold water. When the liquid metal has hardened, the mould is removed and the statue within is revealed.
The artist works on the details of the statue using various tools. It is then polished to get a shiny and lustrous surface.

Now comes the most important part of Nepalese art which is gold gilding. This is done by the traditional fire gilding method. A mixture of mercury and 18K gold is applied on the surface of the statue and heat is applied using a flame torch. The result is that mercury evaporates along with impurities, leaving a pure 24K gold finish.

The lost-wax method of sculpting is the most preferred technique

for artists to cast a metallic statue having intricate details. Since Nepalese copper sculptures require extraneous effort for giving a majestic look by adding special embellishments, it takes several weeks to complete one masterpiece. A 24K gold gilded copper sculpture retains its brilliant luster for many years and appears as like before. Nepalese sculptures continue to remain one of the finest specimens of the art of the East that have a strong aesthetic appeal that other sculptures cannot match.
Frequently Asked Questions
  • Q. Is the statue hollow or solid ?
    A. Brass statues are made through a process of clay casting, hence are hollow. Whereas, panchaloha bronze statues are made through a process of lost wax casting, hence they are solid.
  • Q. Can I see the original photo of the product ?
    A. For original pictures of the statue, kindly email us at help@exoticindia.com.
  • Q. Can I return the statue ?
    A. All returns must be postmarked within seven (7) days of the delivery date. All returned items must be in new and unused condition, with all original tags and labels attached. To know more please view our return policy.
  • Q. Can you customise the statue for me ?
    A. For any customisation, kindly email us at help@exoticindia.com.
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