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 SGT07GS
Baronet 4 Tibet, Art Galleries, Dealers & Consultants, Vancouver, WA

side view Tibetan scripture transport box with Buddhist symbols
end view Tibetan scripture box end view with mantra
top view top view of Tibetan Buddhist painted scripture storage box with Buddhist symbols

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

Very good lay out and excellent kyungbur on this well done Tibetan Buddhist storage box. 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, although is is not readily visible. The sides show lots of motion and interaction. The art work is very good, the colors are vibrant on this box; thematically it is about understanding the inter connectivity and cause and effect of those things we do in our life. The Infinite knot on this sides give way to Durva grass as a reminder that through out all of our lives we have an effect on the cosmos. The top has one rarely seen icon, a stylized thread cross, which is a torma ritual item, done in gold kyungbur, the iconography contains more details. This scripture storage box was never pressed into service and has been in storage for a several 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. This box was patterned after the late 18th and early 19th century boxes. If it would have been sent out to be used for scripture storage the interior would have been stained a very dark purple. The front and back are basically the same. The top opens by sliding to the left.

Comes with COA (via snail mail), and the following documents sent via email in PDF;  iconography and the picture of lama that blessed the box.

Dimensions (approximate):  W= 26 "  D= 8 " H= 8 "
Age: early 20th century circa 1920s
Materials:  unknown hardwoods

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SGT07GS PRICE $649.00 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, 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 design on the ends reflects the indexing cloth tabs seen in Tibetan libraries that contain subject information.

The sides have a unique Infinite knot that actually transitions to Durva grass. Below the knot is a series of rainbows and mountains. Flanking the infinite knot are sets of 6 flaming Cintamani. In the background there is a mixture of mare's tail cumulus clouds and Mahamudra mists. The Eternal, or Infinite, Knot (Sanskrit, "Srivastsa"), is the classic icon for the concept of reality. The interwoven lines are graphic representations of the concept that everything in the world is interconnected, and therefore, dependent origination is the underlying reality of existence.  The knot also reflects the endless cycle of death and rebirth, mirroring infinity and the wisdom of the Buddha. It also symbolizes the Buddha's endless wisdom and compassion. The sanskrit term means 'beloved of the goddess Shri.' Shri refers to Lakshmi, the consort of Vishnu, wherein the shrivatsa term in particular is the curl of hair in a 8 looped knot on the breast of Vishnu (just to further complicate the origins). Here the knot moves into Durva grass: 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.

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. The flames surrounding the Cintamani represents the burning away of delusions and debilitating desires. 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 rainbow is eternity’s expression of momentary delight. This is Auspicious and takes on a supernatural meaning: the demise of a great teacher and his rebirth.  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. In this case the colors displayed, blue and green, represent the unmoving nature of the mind when enlightenment has been attained.

The top at its center has a stack of Cintamani, with elephant tusks and the Precious Queen's earrings on the side. This is sitting over valuable cloth draped over leopard skins. Again there are cumulus clouds and the Mahamudra Mists hanging out in the ether. Flanking the center icons are sanskrit simulacra rock cliffs with kusha grass growing; in the ether are also Cintamani and just below the right cumulus cloud is the thread cross. The thread cross lacks the fine detail usually present, it is just outlined in kyungbur, however the shape/design is definitely that of a thread cross. The top blue Cintamani (Eight-faceted jewel), the elephant tusks (representing the entire elephant) and the Queen's earrings are 3 of the Seven Precious Possessions of Chakravartin. The term Chakravartin in Hinduism refers to an ideal ruler, but in Buddhism, Chakravartin has come to mean a Buddha whose all-encompassing teachings are universally true.

The Precious Eight-faceted jewel has 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. Elephants in Tibetan Buddhism are always the albino elephant, which is proclaimed to be the hardest to train.

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 thread cross are constructed to be temporary abodes of a deity during a ritual; these deities are generally harmful deities and are caught up in the snare of the thread cross, like a spider's web and then destroyed freeing the practitioner from delusions and false desires. In this the thread cross serves as a torma, a casting out of the undesired personal thoughts or behaviors; the thread cross is destroyed during the ritual to complete the cleansing of the mind.




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