Mahaparinirvana Buddha :All Things Are by Nature Impermanent....(Brocadeless Thangka)
Tibetan Thangka Painting_x000D_21.1 inch x 15.7 inch_x000D_
Traveling great distances to disseminate his teachings, Buddha finally reached the city of Kushinagara, where he asked his disciples to spread a couch for him in a grove. He lay there, reclining on his right side, facing west, with his head supported by his hand._x000D_
Shakyamuni realized clearly that death was approaching. His last sermon was as follows:: "All composite things are by nature impermanent. Work out your salvation with diligence." The Mahaparinibbana Sutra, a standard Pali canonical account, recalls the deathbed scene. The gods Brahma and Indra recited poems. Gods and men wept. "Too soon has the exalted one died!" they cried. "Too soon has the Happy One passed away! Too soon has the light gone out of the world!" _x000D_
Towards midnight of the same day, the event known in Buddhist terminology as the Parinirvana, or "Final Nirvana," took place. It was a full-moon night and also his eightieth birthday. The Enlightened One passed through progressively higher planes of meditation until he attained entry into Parinirvana. _x000D_
The death of a truly great man often marks the beginning rather than the end of an era in terms of the progress of human spirit. The difference lies in whether that man lived essentially for his own glory or devoted his life to the pursuit of eternal principles of truth and to the true happiness of all mankind. The image of the dying Buddha is not supposed to evoke sadness as much as a feeling that all beings have the potential to become enlightened and attain release from the sufferings which characterize samsara. His serene, composed, and restful demeanor (he is actually slightly smiling) is meant to communicate his attainment of the highest state of Indian meditation, that of a deep, quiet and blissful sleep known in Sanskrit as 'turiya.' This is precisely the reason why 'Parinirvana' is thought of as the 'final' or 'highest' nirvana._x000D_
At The Core Of Tibetan Culture
The sheer diversity to be discovered in the artistic milieu of Tibet betrays the fact that either the ateliers of different sixteenth-century cities had considerable means of communication or the artists were actually itinerant. Because very few thangkas from before the thirteenth century have survived the ravages of time, the rich divinations made are drawn from sculptures and manuscript illustrations. While the largest influence on Tibetan art has been art from further southwards - the subcontinent - the visualisation of even similar deities are fascinatingly distinct. Scholars explain this by citing that the information flow between the two regions had been textual and verbal, which left Tibetan painters free to forge their own style. The Pala kingdom (eighth-twelfth century) of Northeastern India has had the most conspicuous influence on thangkas, of all other Indian influences that could be deduced. While most of Pala art is lost to us, we could gauge from sculptures and manuscrips illustrations the adornments, the elongated eyes and lashes, and the aquiline noses. Upon the Islamicisation of North India, some of the Indian Pala Buddhists put together a small community in Central Tibet and continued to produce their art, with the original Pala influences gradually dwindling. Contemporary thangka artists are no longer dependant on Pala tutelage, and what this endemic art form has evolved to today is the subject of admiration of art devotees across the world.
Thangkas are one of Tibet's most sacred gifts to humankind. Through contemplation on the subjects of the thangkas, the devotee is meant to transcend one's coarse, earthy surroundings into a realm that is defined by compassion and wisdom. Compassion and wisdom lie at the core of modern-day Tibetan culture, having evolved from a warring people with a lust for material conquest. The truth revealed in these thangkas are ultimate and divine, the highest of the high as art flows into every aspect of life - wares, textiles, and home decor and even the home itself. Of superlative gorgeousness and meaning, thangkas are the crown jewel of Tibetan art and culture. It is said that these paintings are the door through which the wisdom and the compassion of the deities emerge shining into our realm of existence.