Tibetan buddhist Temple
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C016-08 Tibetan Buddhist Temple Altar

Baronet 4 Tibet, Art Galleries, Dealers & Consultants, Vancouver, WA
Tibetan temple altar circa 1400 front view Snow Lion Monkey and Yaks ancient Tibetan temple altar side view circa 1400
left side front with 2 doors right side

click on above small pictures to view larger pictures~use underlined words in text below to see additional views

Ancient Tibetan temple altar; it was made before they knew about drawers which appeared about 170 years later. Unusual in that there is a shelf inside of this temple altar. The doors show several animals, a Snow Lion, two yaks, a deer and rather unusual is a monkey holding a branch with bilva fruit at the end of the stem. Monkeys are most commonly depicted in the rendering of the Four Compatible Brothers in Tibetan art, although there exist a few tangkas that have monkeys as minor figures in the painting. This monkey has belly muscles in a form that one would expect of a powerful deity depiction. Please read the iconography for further information. Since this altar was a temple altar and so ancient the wax and accumulated soot have permeated the painting rendering it impossible to clean. Furniture used inside of temples and the assembly hall were stained dark on the inside. The sides are monochrome showing a Dharma wheel outlined in kyungbur, the raised outlining, and filled with 24kt gold. An acrylic preservative coating to the art work and Watco furniture oil on the unpainted wood has been applied to preserve both the painting and the wood. Comes with images of the lama that blessed this tea table and the Golden Valley book.

Age: early 1400s
Materials: oil pine, and other woods
 Dimensions H= 21 5/8 " W= 24 3/4 " D= 14 3/4 "

SOLD

C016-08 Price $1865.00 PLUS SHIPPING ~ EAST COAST $264.00 ~  MIDWEST $245 ~ MTN STATES $219.00 ~   WEST COAST $192.00; other destinations, contact David@baronet4tibet.com for a quote

 

Iconography

The border just underneath the top is the "T-wave" or thunder wave. This is the thunder of the vajra (diamond scepter, dorje in Tibetan), symbolizing skilful means, compassion, samsara. This compassion is an active quality rather than mere sympathetic feelings not transformed into action. Compassion refers to action that is exactly consonant with whatever is occurring and that is not self-referential. The rest of the frame is done with circular torma offerings in gold.

The front doors have a cornucopia of animals; a Snow Lion, a deer, two yaks and a monkey holding a branch with bilva fruit at the end. The Snow Lion is the national emblem of Tibet.  The Snow Lion resides in the East and represents unconditional cheerfulness, a mind freed from doubt, clear and precise. It has a beauty and dignity resulting from a synchronized body and mind. The Snow Lion has the youthful, vibrant energy of goodness and a natural sense of delight.  Sometimes, the throne of a Buddha is depicted with eight Snow lions on it.  In this case, they represent the 8 main Bodhisattva-disciples of Buddha Shakyamuni, the historical Buddha.  Associations: main quality is fearlessness, dominance over mountains, and the earth element. Cumulus clouds which are quite common in Tibet: one significance of these fast moving clouds and the pure clarity of the sky is metaphorically an illustration of the Buddha Mind. Clouds may come and go across the heavens, like the transitory thoughts or delusions which appear to obscure the mind's true nature, yet the nature of the sky remains unchanged. this is like the mirror, which is always unaffected by the appearances which arise in it, the sky is clear, transparent, infinite and immaculate.
The rock/cliff formation represents the syllable "E" which appears in the opening stanza of early Buddhist scriptures, ("'thus,' I have heard"). The purple and green cliffs represent the unmoving nature of the mind when enlightenment has been attained. Mare's tail cumulus clouds are quite common in Tibet. One significance of these fast moving clouds and the pure clarity of the sky is metaphorically an illustration of the Buddha Mind. Clouds may come and go across the heavens, like the transitory thoughts or delusions which appear to obscure the mind's true nature, yet the nature of the sky remains unchanged.

The sides have a Dharma wheel on the main panel that signifies the Eightfold Noble Path.

 

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