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Chösum Stand C601

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left view lotus and cintamani on front cintamani and mahamudra

Click on thumbnail images & underlined text to see larger views

This mid-20th century yak butter lamp stand is still in style in Tibet. This style evolved over the centuries, with the widening to two doors happening at the end of the 19th century and the drawers migrating to the bottom around 1930. The kyungbur is excellent and the doors are very delicate in their presentation. Most Tibetan Monastic art is done by committee so to speak, there would be a master artist and several students. the master would do the layout and the major portion of the work and delegate other parts to the students, usually trim, borders and non essential parts. This is evident on this piece when you view the drawers, the kyungbur is good, however the painting of the swastika was definitely done by the student. The swastika in Tibetan represents the stability of the element earth and actually dates back to 2500 BC and was first identified with Vishnu and probably is derived from the sun symbol denoting the clockwise motion of the sun. I very much like the sides with the coral, Cintamani, yogurt (did they do chocolate yogurt then?) and General's insignia floating in the Mahamudra mists. Please see iconography for more details. The Chösum stand is painted on both sides and the front, the top and back are not painted. This Chösum stand comes with background information, iconography and a Certificate of Authenticity signed by one of the monks. Just a note of some damage: the top right back corner is chipped and can best be viewed in the right side and top views. The damage has been taken into consideration in the pricing.

Materials:  Asian cedar & spruce
Dimensions:  H 31.5" W=29.62" D=15.87" measurements are approximate.
Age circa: 1940

Item #C601:  Price $945.00, SOLD plus shipping & handling

To Purchase this item, get questions answered  or would like additional photographs, contact David either by calling 1-800-718-4238 or by emailing david@baronet4tibet.com


The front door have a beautiful lotus blossom sitting on a lily pad, the sky is adorned with Durva grass and mare's tail cumulus clouds. Beneath the lotus are Cintamani and elephant tusks. The lotus flower  is a natural symbol and represents earth.  Tibetan Buddhist mystics imagined the earth floating like a lotus flower on the oceans of the universe. The heart of the flower is the cosmic mountain, the axis of the universe. The generally acknowledged meaning of the lotus flower is purity of mind or divine creation. From the muck of a pond, where the roots of the lotus reside, an immaculate white flower emerges to rest on the surface of the water as a metaphor for the harmonious unfolding of spirituality. Durva grass is a symbol of long life.  Because grass is highly resilient, it is believed to be immortal.  Therefore, it proclaims the end of samsara, the successive death and rebirth of all beings  It usually takes a long time to overcome samsara, and a longer life span will allow greater progress in moving towards enlightenment within a given cycle. Cintamani are wish-granting jewels and additionally represent wisdom.  When depicted in sets of 3, they represent the body, speech and mind of Buddha such as the practitioner may possess.  Cintamani are also referred to as the “Thinking Jewel” and symbolize the importance of teaching and as well as the enlightened mind. Pictured here are 6 flaming jewels. Elephant tusks when depicted are symbolic of the whole elephant and generally refer to Chakravartin's Precious Elephant. The Precious Elephant is among the 7 possessions of the Chakravartin, or Wheel Turner. The term in Hinduism refers to an ideal ruler, but in Buddhism, Chakravartin has come to mean a Buddha whose all-encompassing teachings are universally true.  Chakravartin has an army of 4 divisions, infantry, cavalry, elephants, and chariots. Chakravartin is the lineage of 25 Kulika kings or enlightened monarchs, the 25th of which will finally defeat the "non-believers." The Precious Elephant is a symbol of the strength of the mind in Buddhism. Exhibiting noble gentleness, the precious elephant serves as a symbol of the calm majesty possessed by one who is on the path. Specifically, it embodies the boundless powers of the Buddha, which are miraculous aspiration, effort, intention, and analysis. 

The drawers have the swastika symbols that are continuously interlinked. The swastika in Tibetan represents the stability of the element earth and actually dates back to 2500 BC and was first identified with Vishnu and probably is derived from the sun symbol denoting the clockwise motion of the sun. In this case with the interlinking, it ties in to the infinite knot, noting that everything is interconnected and that any thing that we do has a far reaching or infinite effect. The word swastika originates from the Sanskrit word svastika and the root meaning is well being, good fortune, success or prosperity.

The side main panel have Cintamani set in the Kusha grass of a mountain meadow with Mahamudra mists in the sky: there is also the General's insignia, white coral and yogurt floating in the mist. Kusha grass grows to a height of two feet and is used to purify defilements.  Those wishing purification sleep in a field or patch of kusha grass for ritual purification.  Placed under a pillow at night before initiation, Kusha grass is believed to produce clear dreams; it is also used to enhance the clarity of visualization and meditation.  Kusha is the grass of choice for the manufacture of sacred meditation mats. General's insignia (Sanskrit senapatiratna)  the Precious General is another of the seven possessions of the Chakravartin. the General is ready both to wage war and defend the kingdom, having attained mastery of the 64 strategic arts of war. He fights for truth and justice, does no unvirtuous acts, he causes no harm to other beings.

*expanded iconograpy will be supplied to the purchaser

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