Manjushri Tibetan Buddhist Deity
Manjushri is a Bodhisattva (one on the way to Buddha-hood and enlightenment) known in many traditions of Buddhism. He is said to have been one of the closest followers of Buddha Shakyamuni. He is revered as one of the most important bodhisattvas in Mahayana Buddhism and was even considered the very embodiment of prajna or transcendent wisdom.As seen in this thangka, he is usually depicted in art as a young prince.He sits on a lotus, an important suite or symbol in Buddhism which signifies purity and compassion. Meanwhile, his throne is that of pink color, and pink lotus is usually reserved for the main deities. On his right hand is a flaming sword as a sign of cutting ties with ignorance, duality, and worldly knowledge as well as the darkness it brings. Meanwhile, he can also be seen holding a lily flower which signifies detachment to troubling emotions. His left hand is also in a Vitarka mudra (or gesture of teaching). Zoom in on the lily and you will see a parchment-like object which is the Prajnaparamita sutra (symbol for ultimate realization and wisdom). According to Sutras, He is also said to have a pure land in the East, believed to be among the best pure lands in all of the universe for all time. This painting depicts Manjushri in a bright, lively setting filled with ideal skies and lush greenery, a nod to his pure land. The mountain ranges also represent the Wu Tai Shan Mountain where the deity is said to dwell. _x000D_
Tibetan Thangka Painting_x000D_Size of Painted Surface 11 inch x 15 inch_x000D_Size with Brocade 21 inch x 35 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.