Bhumisparsha Buddha, Amidst Himalayan Verdure
Having spent years traversing the wilderness of the North Indian plains, the former Buddha settles down at the foot of the Bodhi tree. He is the erstwhile Shakyamuni who had renounced his material fortunes and lived a life of severe asceticism. Now the Bodhi tree has Him in her unflinching shade, moments - in terms of cosmic time - ere His enlightenment. He is seated in padmasana with the begging bowl in His lap, a gold brocade robe about His shoulders which is symbolic of His divine glamour. In fact, everything about this thangka is rich with symbolic meaning.His asana is the bed of the lotus flower. The glimmering pastel hues of its petals go well with the surrounding landscape. Undulating hills in multiple shades and tints of verdure, which are the lower reaches of the Himalayas. Streams of the pristine, youthful Ganga making her way through their midst. The mythical flora of the region comprises luxuriant canopies and wild pink flowers that tug at the very soul. Amidst such natural plenitude stems the Bodhi tree with its bejewelled canopy reaching till the wisps of white and gold clouds in the skies above._x000D_
Sage Gautama marks the moment of His Buddhahood with the Bhumisparsha mudra of His hand. The earth (bhoomi) beneath Him is called upon through His touch (sparsha) as witness to the juncture of Enlightenment._x000D_
Tibetan Thangka Painting_x000D_Size - 20 inch X 29.5 inch_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.