Tibetan buddhist Temple
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Tibetan Buddhist Art furniture & Antiques from the monasteries of the Ser Shong (Golden Valley)
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Scripture Boxes SGT06GS
Baronet 4 Tibet, Art Galleries, Dealers & Consultants, Vancouver, WA

front view Tibetan Buddhist scripture storage box with hand-painted Buddhist symbols Dharma Wheel, rainbows, Zipak, and 3 syllable mantra
end view end view of Tibetan Buddhist scripture storage box with 3 syllable buddhist mantra in 24 kt gold
top view Tibetan Buddhist scripture storage box circa mid 1900s with cloud designs and jewels

Click on above image & blue links in text below for larger views.

Very good lay out and excellent kyungbur on this well done storage box. The sides feature two Dharma Wheels flanking a happy Zipak. This scripture storage box was never pressed into service and has been in storage for a few decades at the Sange Monastery. It is quite customary for the monasteries to make more items then they can distribute as they are in the business of providing Tibetan Buddhist functional art for the other monasteries all over Tibet. This box was patterned after the late 16th and early 17th century boxes using a design motif inspired by silks of that earlier period. The top has an alms bowl filled with Cintamani, elephant tusks and the Queen's earrings outlined in kyungbur. The front and back are basically the same. The mantra on each end of the box is OM AH HOM, which is the "Body~Speech~Mind" of Buddha, as in one's acquisition of these properties. The top opens by sliding towards one end and the top can be completely removed by sliding to the right. The box has been cleaned and treated with an acrylic enamel as a long term preservative.

Comes with COA (via snail mail), and the following documents sent via email in PDF; map of region, iconography, picture of lama that blessed the box, pictures and information about the Rebgong area in Tibet.

Dimensions:  W= 26" x D= 8" x H=8" (measurements approximate)
Age: early 20th century
Materials:  unknown hardwoods

To Purchase this item securely online click here

SST06GS PRICE $569.00 plus shipping, handling & insurance; Pacific Coast $68.00 ~ MTN States $77.00 ~ Mid-West $85.00 ~ East coast $92.00~~Other destinations, contact David for quote; david@Baronet4Tibet.com

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Iconography

The front and back of the box is laid out in a silk fabric design from the late 15th century, with the predominate features of two Dharma Wheels flanking a Zipak with Chakravartin's Precious jewel. the Zipak has Durva grass coming out from behind his jaws. Along the bottom are a series of mountains and rainbows; mare's-tail cumulus clouds are along the top. The diamond shapes are lined with Kusha grass. The  Dharma Wheel ~~Sanskrit chakra ~ Tibetan `khor lo, in three parts, the wheel exists as a hub, the center of the world.  The 8 spokes denote the 8 paths to enlightenment. These 8 steps work together, not separately.  1. right understanding . 2. right attitude  3. right speech  4. right action  5. right work    6. right effort  7. right mindfulness  8. right meditation  The rim represents the attribute of limitation.  All are contained within a circle, which is perceived to be perfect and complete, like the teachings of the Buddha. The two sections in the center of this wheel are yin and yang. Zeeba or Zipak (Tibetan) originates in a Shaivite legend from the Shandha Purana.  Shiva created a demon called Jalandhara from the blaze of his third eye.  Jalandhara assumed great power and desired an incestuous relationship with Parvati, the consort of Shiva and Jalandhara's adoptive mother.  Jalandhara persuaded Rahu, one of his demonic friends, to demand Parvati's favor.  When Shiva got wind of this, he was understandably outraged, so his third eye blazed again, thereby creating the Zeeba, who made a beeline to devour Rahu.  Rahu decided that Zeeba was going to eat him bones and all and begged Shiva for mercy; whereupon, Shiva offered forgiveness and called off Zeeba.  Because Zeeba had not had anything to eat since coming into the world and had been deprived of his only prey, he turned on himself and devoured his own body until only the head and hands remained.  Shiva was very pleased with his handiwork and invited Zeeba to remain as the guardian to his door.   Since then, he has become a reminder of the consequences of gluttony and greed and also stands as a guardian of practitioners.  Zeeba's fingers point to his missing body to show what can happen when someone is overcome by avarice. Chakravartin's blue flaming Precious jewel in the Zipak's mouth is 8-faceted; as in having eight magical properties. It cools when the days are hot, warms when the days are cold, illuminates the darkness of night, causes rain to fall or a spring to appear when one is thirsty, it brings to fruition what ever the bearer desires, it heals emotional afflictions, and cures all of the diseases of those who are in the range of its light and lastly prevents untimely death as in fathers passing on before sons.

The ends have a three syllable mantra OM AH HOM, which is the "Body~Speech~Mind" of Buddha, as in one's acquisition of these properties. This mantra sets up an undulating vibration that helps in the generation of subtle energy.

The top has an ornate alms bowl that contains a stack of Cintamani, with the top jewel being Chakravartin's Precious eight faceted jewel along with Chakravartin's Precious Queen's earrings and his Precious elephant represented by the elephant tusks. The term Chakravartin, or Wheel Turner 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 blue with flames Eight-faceted jewel, as in having eight magical properties. It cools when the days are hot, warms when the days are cold, illuminates the darkness of night, causes rain to fall or a spring to appear when one is thirsty, it brings to fruition what ever the bearer desires, it heals emotional afflictions, and cures all of the diseases of those who are in its range of its light and lastly prevents untimely death as in fathers passing on before sons." 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.  Elephant tusks, when depicted as in this case, are always symbolic of the whole elephant. The Precious Queen's heavy earrings are taken as a symbol of comprehension of the Buddha’s teachings.  The weight of the earrings would have caused the wearers earlobes to elongate.  The long earlobes of the Buddha are a symbol of her detachment from all things earthly. The Queen speaks the truth, using no frivolous words and holding no false vices. 

The alms bowl is flanked by rock cliffs and the ether of the top is filled with mare's tail cumulus clouds. The rock/cliff formation represents the syllable "E" which appears in the opening stanza of early Buddhist scriptures, ("'thus,' I have heard"). The blue and green cliffs represent the unmoving nature of the mind when enlightenment has been attained. The tops of these cliffs have Kusha grass growing out of them. 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. Mare's tail cumulus clouds are quite common in Tibet. 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.

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