Pundit Tsong Khapa - The Great Tibetan Buddhist Monk, Scholar and Reformer of Tibetan Buddhism

$255
Tsong Khapa was a Tibetan religious leader and philosopher. He was born in 1357 and died in 1419. His name means "Man from Tsongka" or Onion Valley but he is also known as the Losang Drakpa or Je Rinpoche. His teachings were monumental in the formation of the Gelug tradition in Tibetan Buddhism. In his time, he was closely acquainted and learned with the Tibetan Buddhist schools where he received lineages from major schools, too. He is also the emanation of Buddhas Manjushri (wisdom), Chenrezig (compassion), and Vajrapani (skills).

Per tradition, Tsong Khapa is usually depicted wearing a tall hat, usually yellow, but in this thangka, it is colored in orange. He is the central figure in the Gelugpa sect in Tibet, the dominant sect in Tibet until the 1960s whose de facto spiritual leader is the Dalai Lama.

A close look at the painting shows Tsong Khapa sitting on a lotus throne while wearing three opulent monk’s robes. He is also depicted with a smiley face, which signals his state of mind.Zoom in on his hands and it shows a Dharmachakra mudra or the wheel of the mudra that symbolizes the Buddha’s first sermon after enlightenment. This gesture is also used to identify teachers in Buddhist art and is said to have been used to transform ignorance into reality. He holds a lotus stem on his left hand whose height is at the level of his ear. The blue lotus on his left side carries the scripture (Perfection of Wisdom with 8,000 lines) and a wish-granting jewel on top of it. The lotus flower on his right side appears to be carrying the Sword of Manjushri, a tool to cut down duality and ignorance. The lotus is pink which is the color of the flower reserved for the highest of deities.

Item Code: TX49
Specifications:
Tibetan Thangka Painting
Dimensions Size of Painted Surface 20.5 inch X 28.5 inch
Size with Brocade 29.0 inch X 45.0 inch
Handmade
Handmade
Free delivery
Free delivery
Fully insured
Fully insured
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
Fair trade
Fair trade

Click Here to View the Thangka Painting along with its Brocade

 

How are Thangkas made?

A Thangka is a traditional Tibetan Buddhist painting that usually depicts a Buddhist Deity (Buddha or Bodhisattva), a scene, or a mandala. These paintings are considered important paraphernalia in Buddhist rituals. They are used to teach the life of the Buddha, various lamas, and Bodhisattvas to the monastic students, and are also useful in visualizing the deity while meditating. One of the most important subjects of thangkas is the Bhavacakra (the wheel of life) which depicts the Art of Enlightenment. It is believed that Thangka paintings were developed over the centuries from the murals, of which only a few can be seen in the Ajanta caves in India and the Mogao caves in Gansu Province, Tibet.

Thangkas are painted on cotton or silk applique and are usually small in size. The artist of these paintings is highly trained and has a proper understanding of Buddhist philosophy, knowledge, and background to create a realistic and bona fide painting.
The process of making a thangka begins with stitching a loosely woven cotton fabric onto a wooden frame. Traditionally, the canvas was prepared by coating it with gesso, chalk, and base pigment. Image
After this, the outline of the form of the deity is sketched with a pencil or charcoal onto the canvas using iconographic grids. The drawing process is followed in accordance with strict guidelines laid out in Buddhist scriptures. The systematic grid helps the artist to make a geometrical and professional painting. When the drawing of the figures is finalized and adjusted, it is then outlined with black ink. Image
Earlier, a special paint of different colors was made by mixing powdered forms of organic (vegetable) and mineral pigments in a water-soluble adhesive. Nowadays, artists use acrylic paints instead. The colors are now applied to the sketch using the wet and dry brush techniques. One of the characteristic features of a thangka is the use of vibrant colors such as red, blue, black, green, yellow, etc. Image
In the final step, pure gold is coated over some parts of the thangka to increase its beauty. Due to this beautification, thangkas are much more expensive and also stand out from other ordinary paintings. Image
Thangka paintings are generally kept unrolled when not on display on the wall. They also come with a frame, a silken cover in front, and a textile backing to protect the painting from getting damaged. Because Thangkas are delicate in nature, they are recommended to be kept in places with no excess moisture and where there is not much exposure to sunlight. This makes them last a long time without their colors fading away. Painting a thangka is an elaborate and complex process and requires excellent skills. A skilled artist can take up to 6 months to complete a detailed thangka painting. In earlier times, thangka painters were lamas that spent many years on Buddhist studies before they painted.
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