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Short Not on Mandala

Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 1:31 AM
Mandala of SamvaraMandala, as the name implies, primarily depicts circles within squares. It is an aid to meditation. Being one of the most complex symbols of Vajrayana esoterism mandalas are ritual diagrams with Buddhist deities and symbols representing the projection of the scheme of the universe for invoking deities.

This thanka represents four mandalas dedicated to Samvara, one of the principal divinities of the Tantric esoterism in different aspects. The god is blue in colour and he has four heads, blue in the east, green in the south, red in the west and yellow in the north. The outermost circle of the man4ala represents cemeteries presided over by dikpalas, belt of fire, belt of vajra and belt of lotus petals. In the internal circle is depicted the square mandala. On the four sides of the squares are drawn four doors in the shape of a 'T'. The doors are joined by a belt divided in five parts. Over the doors rise the arch, the torana made of eleven storeys. On the top of the torana, a wheel is placed on a lotus. The inner surface is divided by diagonal lines into four triangles. Samvara is an emanation of the Dhyani Buddha Aksobhya and betrays terrible expression. He stands in the atidha posture on Bhairava and Kalaratri embracing his Sakti Vajravarahi. His Sakti, red in colour, nude, holding kapala and kartrika represents passion-ate love.

Of the upper two mandalas one represents Samvara with his Sakti in blue colour with twelve arms while the other represents eight-armed Samvara, in yellow colour and in yab-yum. With his principal hands he carries vajra and ghanta embracing his Sakti in the gesture known as vajrahumkaramudra. Two of his upper arms stretch elephant skin while the other arms display different Tantric symbols like skull-cup, snare, chopper etc. The lower two mandalas represent two-armed Samvara in green and red colours with his Sakti.

The central deity of the mandala, Samvara and his Sakti in yab-yum is encircled by eight-petalled lotus. The lotus petals at the four cardinal points are occupied by four goddesses, namely, Dakini, Lama', Khandaroha and Rupini while the alternate petals represent kalasa surmounted by kapala placed on lotus. These two innermost circles are surrounded by three more circles of divinities, the first circle representing cittacakra (circle of the mind), the second vakcakra (circle of speech) and the third kayacakra (circle of form). The mandala is guarded by eight guardian deities, four animal headed goddesses at the four cardinal points and in the corners are shown the double coloured figures of the Yamadahi, Yamaduti, Yamadamstri and Yamamathani. There are depictions of four-armed Vajravarahi in red, green, blue and yellow colours at the four corners and between the mandalas of the thanka. In the centre of the thanka is a small circle representing three gurus (preceptors) of the Sakya-pa school. As Yi-dam or protector of the sect Samvara is particularly venerated by the Sakya-pas.

Along the margin, at the top, is represented the lineage of 8diya-pa school and the mahasiddhas while at the bottom Ganesa, the protector of the mandala, is shown on mouse in a dancing pose. This thanka probably hails from Western Tibet.

Illustration from kalacakra storyThis thanka is of unusual interest for though it appears to be a mandala, in fact, the subject is different. The central part of the thanka is occupied by two circles with innumerable houses and temples representing the country of Sambhala. The inner circle represents Kalapa, the Kulika's royal palace and two mandalas of Kalacakra. The country of Sambhala representing 96 minor kingdoms surrounding Kalapa is found like an eight-petalled lotus flower and is regarded as a heaven consecrated to the Kalacakra's glories. The subject of this thanka is identified as Kalacakra's story depicting the victory of king Drag po ak'or lo over the Kla Klo, i.e., the Muslims. According to Tibetan tradition king Drag po ak'or lo with the help of gods defeated the Muslims and re-established the Buddhist Law.

The upper part of the thanka represents Buddha in blumisparsamudra in the centre accompanied by Atisa, Tsong-kha-pa and gurus of Ka-dam-pa school. Of the two smaller circles at the right and left corners one shows the yab-yum figures of Adi Buddha Vajradhara, Samvara, Kala-cakra, Yama-Yami and two kings of Sambhala while the other shows the seated figure of Vajradhara bedecked with ornaments in vajrahumkaramudra and king of Sambhala. The lower section of the thanka represents the battle scene in which the king of Sambhala with his well-equipped army overpowered the Muslims. The king mounted on blue-horse in-scribed as 'wrathful wheel' is shown piercing with his lance the enemy king fallen on the ground. Even Brahmanical and the Buddhist gods like Brahma, Siva, Agni, Indra, Ganesa, Mahakala, etc. joined in this battle in a furious attitude. At the right side, in the land of vanquished enemies, a figure of Kalacakra inscribed as Vajraskti (Dorjesukh) is represented with four heads of blue, red, white and yellow colour. His body is blue but the right and left legs are red and white in colour. The god is standing in alidha attitude trampling under each foot four-armed person lying on the back. Of his twenty-six arms eight are blue, eight are red, eight are white, one is black and the other is yellow. His main pair of hands are in vajrahumkaramudra and the other hands hold various Tantric symbols. The depiction of the image of Kalacakra indicates the restoration of the sacred Doctrine in the conquered land and the victory over the Muslims (Kla Kb).
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Art of Legend India has the distinction of being one of the best in the Indian Handicraft Industry. We are about 75 years old handicrafts manufacturer & exporter. We are having team of more than 500 craftsman.

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