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Manuscript Cover C055-03

tIBETAN bUDDHIST ART Je tsong Khapa, Avalokiteshvara

Tibetan Buddhist art auspicious symbols

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The art work on this cover is excellent, the plants are are outlined in 24kt gold, the shading is superb and the fine line detail is masterful. The side and end of this manuscript cover have the "skyab dro" this is a blessing and is also called the Buddhism Refuge formula, it is as follows:

May all the sentient beings enjoy happiness and the root of happiness,
may they be free from suffering and the root of suffering.
may they not be separated from true happiness, devoid of suffering,
may they dwell in great equanimity, which is free from attachment and aversion.

Until awakening I take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha,
May I realize buddhahood,
through the merit of generosity and the other liberating qualities,
for the benefit of all beings.

Three figures grace this manuscript cover in classic posses, the left figure is Shakyamuni Buddha, the center is Four-armed Avalokiteshvara and the right figure is Je Tsong Khapa. The left figure of Shakyamuni is seated in the diamond position, with the right hand in the Bhumisparsha, or gesture of witness or touching the earth, used to summon the earth-goddess Sthavara as witness to his attainment of Buddhahood. The gesture signifies the state of enlightenment reached after meditating under the bodhi tree for 4 weeks and withstanding all the temptation put before him by Mara, the god of evil. In the left hand is the medicine bowl used to heal emotional and physical suffering.
Avalokiteshvara (in Tibetan, Chenrezi) is the Buddha of Infinite Compassion and one of the most important Bodhisattvas in Mahayana buddhism. He is also called Mahakaruna, literally great compassion in sanskrit, the Buddha embodiment of mercy. He is regarded as the bodhisattva manifestation of Amitabha, having the same boundless compassion, He is instantly available to all who call upon him with all their mind. Avalokiteshvara appears in about 108 different forms, this depiction is the most well known, he has one face, four arms, and sits with his legs crossed on a Ashoka throne. On his head is a five-pointed crown. In his together hands he is holding a glowing Cintamani, the symbol for all-encompassing compassion demonstrated in the ability and willingness to help. His legs are in the Vajrasana or diamond Position, the position that Buddha Shakyamuni assumed on the last day before his enlightenment. Avalokiteshvara's ears are elongated by the heavy weight of the Queen's earrings. The long earlobes of the Buddha are a symbol of his detachment from all things earthly. The Queen speaks the truth, using no frivolous words and holding no false vices. Both raised hands are in a combination Vitarka/Karam/Inana. This combination is one of banishing, instruction according to the Dharma and intellectual discussion. Generally there would be a rosary in the right hand and a lotus flower in the left.
Je Tsong Khapa, the Je is an honorific title and means exalted. He is the founder of the Gelugpa order, noted by their yellow hats, and after his death became the first Dali Lama. This came about as his insistence on celibacy within the order and made succession only possible by reincarnation. His hands are in the Dharmachakra, or gesture of Teaching. The dharmachakra symbolizes setting the Dharma wheel in motion. It recognizes the moment when buddha sets moving the wheel instruction that leads to enlightenment. In this gesture, both hands are used: they are held in front of the heart, the thumbs and index fingers of both hands form a circle representing the Dharma and that it is to be taken to heart. There are lotus blossoms next to each shoulder that are being held by his hands. 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.
All of the other flowers are Ashoka blossoms, including the thrones each deity or personage is sitting upon. The Ashoka Blossom is 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.

The back side of the manuscript cover is decorated in 24kt gold with gold Mahamudra giving way to scrolling Durva grass with partial 4 petaled flowers on the ends. The center section, with the yellow background has well done flaming Cintamani, flanked by the Victory Banner and the Parasol. On the left end is a Dharma Wheel with yin-yang symbol in the center and on the right end is the wheel of joy. 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 lifespan will allow greater progress in moving towards enlightenment within a given cycle. The 4-petaled flower is symbolic of the 4 Noble truths, the middle way and the first teaching of Buddha. 1. Life is suffering. 2. Ignorance is the cause of suffering.  3. The cessation of suffering is the goal of life because it transcends pains and pleasure.  4. The way to the cessation of suffering is the Noble Eightfold Path, which aligns with the eight spokes of the Dharma Wheel. 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. The Victory banner, an early Buddhist motif meaning the enlightenment of the Buddha and the triumph of knowledge over ignorance, this symbol also is used to recall the Buddha’s triumph over his temptress, Mara. The parasol and the shade it casts symbolize wisdom.  Its hanging skirt indicates compassion, so the parasol becomes a symbol of protection from the painful heat of the suffering human incur from the spiritual poisons of desire, hate, greed and ignorance.  The Victory banner is an early Buddhist motif signifying the enlightenment of the Buddha and the triumph of knowledge over ignorance.  This symbol also is used to recall the Buddha’s triumph over his temptress, Mara.  It further announces that all spiritual obstacles have been overcome and good fortune has arrived. The  Dharma Wheel, 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 yin-yang, shaped like spiraled tear drops, constitute a circle that is divided in two by an S. Yin is the female, the passive, the receptive, the dark and the soft. Yang is the masculine, the active, the light and the stern. The joining of the two created from the One is the source of creative energy in the Universe. The wheel of joy is similar in style to the Chinese yin-yang, but with three or four segments rather than two.  When shown with three sections, the wheel relates to the three jewels of Buddha, dharma and sangha (body, speech, and mind). 

This manuscript cover comes with a complete documentation package (map with history~iconography~essays and pictures about the monastery and people of the golden valley), and a Certificate of Authenticity brush signed by a monk at the Sange Monastery

Dimensions: W=37.38" H=8.75" Thickness= 1.38"
Material: Juniper
Circa: 1800 ~ front side is painted on a cloth glued to the board

Questions?  contact David by emailing david@baronet4tibet.com


Item #C055-03 price $1395.00, plus shipping: ~EAST COAST $74.00 ~MIDWEST $65.00 ~MTN STATES $59.00 ~WEST COAST $52.00; other destinations, contact us  for a quote. 


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