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 Box SST27GS
Baronet 4 Tibet, Art Galleries, Dealers & Consultants, Vancouver, WA

side view Tibetan Buddhist antique scripture transport box with Buddist symbols jewels of wisdom side view
end view end view of Tibetan Buddhist scripture box with 3-syllable mantra OM AH HUM body speech mind of Buddha
top view Avalokiteshvara's 6-syllable mantra written in sanskrit or tibetan holy text in 24 kt gold

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

ThisTibetan scripture storage and transport box has two mantras, one on the top in Tibetan holy text and one on each end in Tibetan text. The front and back are very similar, featuring an offering bowl with Cintamani, the jewels of wisdom, flanked by two different types of medicinal fruits. The art work is very good, the colors are vibrant on this box; thematically it is about overcoming the delusions and poisons in our life that prevent us from advancing. This scripture storage box was never pressed into service and has been in storage for a few decades at the Senge 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. If it would have been sent out to be used for scripture storage the interior would have been stained a very dark purple. The top has the 6-syllable mantra of Avalokitshvara, OM MANI PADME HUM in the Tibetan Holy text that is similar to Sanskrit. Please read the iconography for more details as there are 7 syllables and the first syllable has a special meaning. 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 and is written in the regular Tibetan script. The top opens by sliding to the right.

The Tibetan scripture storage box comes with a brush signed (signed by a monk at the monastery) Certificate of Authenticity; an iconography explaining the Buddhist symbols and the meaning of both mantras along with an image of the lama that blessed the box.

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

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SST27GS PRICE $729.00 plus shipping, handling & insurance; Pacific Coast $68.00 ~ MTN States $77.00 ~ Mid-West $85.00 ~ East coast $92.00~~ Western Europe $165.00 Other destinations, contact David for quote; david@Baronet4Tibet.com



The mantra on the top 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 and resolution to acquire and retain these qualities. The first character is not pronounced and has no pronounciation, it is a pause character: this pause can be for two different reasons. First reason in to contemplate on the meaning of the mantra; the second reason is to clear your mind and to think of nothing. Either is a good practice and it will depend upon what the practitioner is trying to accomplish.

The mantra, painted in gold, 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 colorful pattern of layers is a duplication of the tabs that would be found in a Tibetan Buddhist scripture library; these tabs, made of cloth would be the identification of the scriptures.

The sides have at their center an offering bowl filled with flaming Cintamani, bilva and bael fruit. It is then flanked by rock cliffs, mare's-tail cumulus clouds and Mahamudra Mists at the far edges.

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 on tyhis box are 6 flaming jewels. The flames around the border of the Cintamani are symbolic of the burning away of false desires and ignorance, giving way to enlightenment.

To the right of the flaming Cintamani are three Bilva fruit, also known as the Bengal quince, is shown here with stylized peony, indicative of a deity's aura, radiating out in the top layer.  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.

To the left of the Flaming Cintamani are three wood apples, or bael fruit, which 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.

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. 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 billowing clouds or mist at the far edge 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."




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