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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Torma Box C200-05
Lotus and fruit cliff simularca
front
left side

Cintamani and other offerings
top

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The front of this Torma box, made during the 1920s and never used or finished until the late 20th century, has a beautifully shaded Lotus with both bilva fruit and Bael apples. This box would have been used to transport a Lama's ritual items when he went calling on his constituents. Inside there would be ritual items, like the Torma stick used for making offerings, barley flour, ankushas or other instruments as needed for the occasion. The side handles and front clasp are brass, while the corners are copper clad: all added at the last of the 20th century. The top has Cintamani, the Queen's earrings and plenty of offerings. The entire box is done in kyungbur, with the main art work kyungbur very exceptional, featuring bright and vibrant colors. A Certificate Of Authenticity, brush-signed by a monk at the sange Monastery will be provided.


Material: Juniper and poplar
Dimensions: H= 9.75 " W= 15.85 " D= 7.75 "
Age: 1920s
Price $295.00

If you have questions or would like to purchase, contact David email david@baronet4tibet.com

SOLD SHIPPED TO MARIPOSA, CA

SHIPPING & handling= WEST COAST $38 ~ MTN & MIDWEST = $42 ~ EAST COAST= $49. Contact David for a quote to other destinations.

Iconography

The front has red and white lotus flanked by a set of bilva fruit on one side and bael fruit on the other. The lotus has red, blue and gold durva grass floating around it. At the bottom corners there are red and blue rock cliffs with kusha grass sprouting out. Mahamudra mists permeate the ether. 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. Bilva fruit, shown on the right, is also known as the Bengal quince. Medicinally, Bilva is a potent astringent and highly regarded for its purifying qualities in traditional Indian folk medicine. The unripe interior of the fruit, especially when made into a jam, was the best known cure for diarrhea and dysentery. It is regarded as one of the most sacred fruits and serves as one of the main offering fruits. In this offering of Bilva fruit, representing the sense-offering of taste, the Buddha Amoghasiddhi is manifested as motivation or will. The wood apple, or bael fruit, is a baseball-sized fruit with a hard skin and a sticky, highly aromatic pulp. This fruit is eaten more for its medicinal qualities than for its taste. Bael fruit increases one's beneficial, positive karma and thus brings one closer to release from samsara. The fruit also symbolizes the goal of recognizing emptiness and dependency and the connection between cause and effect. It challenges us to avoid actions that will cause suffering and to increase actions that will promote healing. 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. 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 red 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. mahamudra The billowing clouds or mist are Mahamudra: the union of compassion and wisdom -- the ultimate realization of one's true nature. They are 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. This is also the basic meaning of the "Heart Sutra."

The top contains an offering of fine cloths draped over a leopard skin; above this is a stack of 6 Cintamani with the top Cintamani blue and flaming representing Chakravartin's Precious Jewel. Flanking the Cintamani are sets of Elephant tusks, again one of Chakravartin's Precious possessions along with a single gold earring belonging to the Precious Queen. to the left of the Cintamani, cradled by the elephant tusks is an offering of precious gold coral. Again the green ether has Mahamudra mists at the edges and towards the center there are mare's tail cumulus clouds. The  Leopard's spots  resemble (according to Tibetans) the female vagina, consequently the flayed skin of the leopard is more commonly worn by dakinis or wrathful goddesses as a skirt or apron.  The large cat skins are most frequently associated with the wrathful deities, Mahakala is usually seen with the tiger skin wrapped around his waist.  Victory banners and the asama or meditational seats are also adorned with leopard skins, as are bow quivers. The leopard is also the messenger of the wrathful deities and additionally represents the death of pride, one of the 5 delusions and ultimate emptiness of of this delusion; additionally as it represents the female deities it also connotates wisdom. 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. 15 flaming jewels are also sometimes seen. The flames around the border of the Cintamani are symbolic of the burning away of false desires and ignorance, giving way to enlightenment. The top Cintamani is actually one of Chakravartin's seven Precious Possessions along with the elephant and the Queen's earrings. 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 Eight-faceted jewel, has eight magical properties, and not eight cut faces. 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 are sometimes depicted and are 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.  Intermixed with the Mahamudra mists are two mare's tail 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 sides have red and blue rock formations with rainbowed subtle energy radiating out from the tops. This energy is the effect positive thoughts and actions have on the cosmos in general and others in particular by the practitioner that follows and learns the scriptures.

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