Item Code: ZE44
Tibetan Thangka With 24 Karat Gold17" X 21"
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The iconic beauty of this style is amply visible in this painting. The Green Tara sits within a temple-like jewelled shrine reminiscent of Indian architectural modes with finely detailed décor as seen in 12th- to mid- 13th century Orissan and Hoysalan temples. The interior glows a brilliant crimson red, startlingly offsetting the bright green coloring of her firm, graciously bending body. Green Tara, the compassionate female Boddhisattva, is a little mysterious, which is implied here by the forest setting and night-time sky, charmingly sprinkled with flowers. The style has gemlike color, precise and even line, and fascinating detail. The jewels and textiles have a precision and clarity that make the image seem real.
Despite the strongly two-dimensional aspect of the painting, it appears utterly realistic and immediately apprehendable, approachable and present. It seems as though we could touch the image with no barrier between us, even as we realize her iconic, perfect nature. She is seemingly from another world yet she is totally in ours., representing the amazing simultaneity of the mundane reality of our world with that of the Beatific Body (Sambhogakaya) of the transcendent or Pure Land realms. Once again, the masterful success of Tibetan Buddhist painting is this ability to function completely and believably as both transcendent and real at the same time, expressing the reality of the Buddhist view - the nondualistic simultaneous interpenetration of all realms.
Green Tara is depicted in a posture of ease with right leg extended, signifying her readiness to spring into action. The left leg is folded in the contemplative position on the lotus pedestal, the two together thus symbolizing the integration of wisdom and art.
Her left hand, in the gesture of granting refuge holds the stem of a blue lotus that floats over her left shoulder as a symbol of purity and power. With her right hand she makes the boon-granting gesture (varada mudra).
The followers of Green Tara believe that her special powers will help overcome dangers, fears, and anxieties, and that she will grant wishes. She is also believed to help one cross over from danger to safety or from suffering to happiness. Her femininity imbues her with soft and compassionate feelings, and she acts very quickly and directly as a savioress. Representing active compassion, she is particularly worshipped for her ability to overcome the most difficult situations. As the first Dalai Lama puts it, just by being called to help, she instantaneously saves the faithful from attacks by the following eight calamities:
lions and pride
wild elephants and delusions
forest fires and hatred
snakes and envy
robbers and fanatical views
prisons and avarice
floods and lust
demons and doubts.
This description by Nitin Kumar, Executive Editor, Exotic India.
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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.
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