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Tibetan Buddhist Art furniture & Antiques from the monasteries of the Ser Shong (Golden Valley)
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Tibetan Buddhist Lama's Offering cabinet C004-07
with Avalokiteshvara's 6-syllable mantra

Antique Tibetan furniture side view with hand-painted art Buddhist symbols antique furniture Tibetan cabinet painted with Buddhist symbols OM MANI PADMI HUM in 24kt gold
right side view front view  

use the thumbnail images and the underlined links to view larger images

 

Walking the bodhichitta path with like minded bodhisattvas is the general theme of this expertly painted Buddhist offering cabinet. This two-door, two-drawer offering cabinet has an interior shelf for added storage. The traditional Tibetan furniture of a Tibetan Lama has the 6-syllable mantra of Avalokiteshvara "Om Mani Padme Hum" done in 24kt gold kyungbur in the Tibetan Holy text along with an Auspicious conch shell horn sitting upon an Ashoka blossom throne. The sides have a precious offering of red coral over a thought provoking painting of a lotus blossom framed in cliffs representing the holy scriptures and Mahamudra mists as the enlightened compasionate (bodhichitta) heart. The kyungbur on the outside frame is the trademark Sange (Wutun) monastery's zigzag. Under the top overhang, the frame is carved in the rolling thunder or 'T' wave design.   The two bottom-drawers have bronze ring pulls that come through a bronze coin attached to the drawer's front.  The cabinet has been dewaxed & treated with a finishing oil on the inside & the unpainted outside surfaces have been treated with an acrylic preservative.    Comes with a brush signed Certificate Of Authenticity, iconography and other supporting documents.

Age: circa 1850    
Material:  juniper with some elm
Dimensions: H=39"  W= 32.75 "  D= 17 " 

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Item C004.07:  Price $1975.00 layaway deposit of $495 with 10 payments of $150   

Iconography

The red and 24kt gold zigzag kyungbur adorning the frame is the transition of passion into compassion and the resultant Buddha like purity of actions and thoughts. The 24kt gold continuous ‘T’-wave just under the top edge of the of the offering cabinet is also called the 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 mantra on the tops & bottoms of both doors is OM MANI PADME HUM. The  6 syllables are the famous mantra of Avalokiteshvara, which is sometimes explained as ”The jewel in the heart of the Lotus.” The first OM refers to Buddha’s body, speech & mind, as in possessing this oneself; the MA of MANI is a jewel or treasure, (wisdom/thinking). The NI of the MANI is the altruistic mind. PADMI is the lotus flower, the nature of reality of Buddha’s wisdom. HUM is the determination & resolution to acquire & retain these qualities. The main feature display of the doors is an Auspicious Conch shell horn adorned with a silk scarf; this is sitting on a sun disk and Ashoka Blossom throne. Below the Ashoka throne are multi-colored mountains with rainbows set between. The ether is filled with Durva grass and the multi-colored Mahamudra mists. The right spiraling (echoing the celestial movement of the sun, moon and stars) conch shell is one of the oldest icons in Buddhism;  made by nature and not man. A conch horn sounds in all directions, as do the teachings of the Buddha. Consequently, the conch is seen as a vehicle fearlessly proclaiming the truth of the dharma in all directions. It is also seen as an emblem of power and authority and is thought to banish evil. The white conch shell was presented to Shakyamuni by the great sky god Indra. The Ashoka, the second of the  trinity of holy flowers, sprouts from the holy water-font of the Amitayus, one of the forms in which the Buddha Amitabha appeared (symbolizing the transformation from greed to discriminating wisdom).  The sprout materialized from a tear that Buddha Amitabha shed when hearing of the deeds of the great warrior Ashoka that overcame all of his enemies to win freedom for his oppressed people. True spiritual freedom comes from overcoming the sins and lusts that enslave the soul. Once this freedom has been obtained reaching the Mahamudra Mists or the rainbow is doable. Rainbows materialize and dissolve into nothingness, and in Tibetan tradition, it is the “Body of Light” or the “Rainbow Body”  and refers to a great master who has attained Mahamudra and no longer perceives the world as a conceptual concrete dimension; rather, he now permeates space as mist, also known as the ultimate form of reality. The self is now permeating space with luminescence transparency, with nothing solid or any sharp lines of separation. Mahamudra: the union of compassion and wisdom -- the ultimate realization of one’s true nature.  This is represented as the transformation of our vices into the 4 powers of regret, vow, reliance, and remedy, so the practitioner will realize purification and enlightenment.  Mahamudra is also the basic meaning of the "Heart Sutra."

The lower panels on each side have a lotus blossom in full bloom framed in rock cliffs and the Mahamudra Mists with dirva grass seemingly everywhere. 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. 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. While grass, durva in Tibetan is a symbol for long (or Longer) life and in particular Kusha grass is used in life-enriching rituals. Grass, being highly resilient, is believed to be immortal and so proclaims the end of samsara, the successive death and rebirth of all beings. 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.

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