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Manuscript Cover C055-05 Je Tsong Khapa and his two famous disciples

Tibetan manuscript cover with Je Tsong Khapa, Khedrup Gelek Pelzang and Gyaltsab Je painted
Front or inside view
back side of Tibetan manuscript cover with Six syllable mantra OM MANI PADME HUM
Back side view

click on the image above to see larger view [VERY HIGH RESOLUTION VIEWS]

The manuscript cover is made out of a single piece of wood, it is painted on the inside, the side that faces the scripture pages with Je Tsong Khapa and his two most famous disciples, Gyaltsab Je (the younger~to his right) and Khedrub Je (the older-to his left). The back side has Avalokiteshvara's 6-syllable mantra in the lantsa Tibetan holy script.

The art work on the three historical teachers on the front is close to a masterpiece; the fine line detail is exquisite. Inside of the aura on Gyaltsab Je and Khedrub Je are mountains, streams and above that a parasol decorated with the Four-Petaled Flower and hanging from the bottom edges are precious jewels. The images above show the cover in bigger than life size allowing you to appreciate the magnificent detail. This grouping of the three teachers is a popular depiction of Je Tsong Khapa.

Je Tsong Khapa, founded the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism in 1409 after 20 years of studying the different schools of Buddhism. He sought to remove the contradictions and consolidate the teachings. Ultimately Tsong khapa saw emptiness as a consequence of pratītyasamutpāda (dependent arising), the teaching that no dharma ("thing") has an existence of its own, but always comes into existence in dependence on other dharmas. This means that conventionally things do exist, and that there is no use in denying that. But it also means that ultimately those things have no 'existence of their own', and that cognizing them as such results from cognitive operations, not from some unchangeable essence. Je Tsong Khapa communicated with Manjushri, is considered by most to be a manifestation of and thus Manjushri's blue sword is often depicted with him.

The disciple on his right, Gyaltsab Je (1364–1432), became the first Ganden Tripa (throne holder) of the Gelug tradition after Je Tsong Khapa's death. Gyaltsab Je was a prolific writer; one of his most famous texts is a commentary of Shantideva's A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way Of Life.

To Je Tsong Khapa's left is Khedrub Je (1385–1438 CE), also known as Gelek Pelzang, the 1st Panchen Lama, although this designation was posthumous. Khedrub Je was posthumously decided by the 5th Dalai Lama to have been a previous incarnation of Lobsang Chökyi Gyaltsen, 4th Panchen Lama (1570–1662). Khedrub Je wrote a root text on mahamudra, which would be in keeping with Je Tsong Khapa's philosophy of dependent origination and the essence of reality. Like all the Panchen Lamas, he is considered to be an incarnation of Amitabha Buddha. Traditionally, there were considered to be four Indian and three Tibetan incarnations before Khedrup, starting with Subhuti, one of the original disciples of Gautama Buddha. Mathematically, this does not work as a direct lineage. Khedrub Je is also considered to be an emanation of Manjushri, the Buddha of Wisdom. He played an important role in the education of the First Dalai Lama, who was the youngest of Tsong khapa's five chief disciples.

The top side of the manuscript cover has Avalokiteshvara's 6-syllable mantra, OM MANI PADME HUM, written twice in the Tibetan holy script, which is also called lantsa. Each of the characters of the lantsa is without fault, outlined in kyungbur and filled with gold. The first character is not part of the mantra, it is a "pause" for reflection. Then comes the mantra, followed by a "thought" delineator, the vertical line, and the mantra repeated again.

The art work on the manuscript covers has nothing to do with the books that they cover. They are used mostly as a protective weight to keep the pages flat while in storage in one of the many cubby holes in the monastic library, generally built along the side of the Assembly Hall. They are also used to keep insects out of them as the pages are made from the bark of a tree. The majority of the written texts are approximately 20 inches by 4-5 inches in size, so there is plenty of overhang and weight to keep the pages from curling.

Comes with Certificate of Authenticity, expanded iconography and images of the living Buddha that blessed it.

Dimensions: W=35.25" H=10.5" Thickness= 1.5"
Material: unknown wood
Circa: 1900-20

Questions?  contact David by emailing david@baronet4tibet.com

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Item #C055-05 price $1195.00, plus crating and shipping: ~EAST COAST $94.00 ~MIDWEST $85.00 ~MTN STATES $79.00 ~WEST COAST $72.00; other destinations, contact us  for a quote. 

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