A RARE INITIATION THANGKA WITH FOUR MANDALAS OF CAKRASAMVARA
8.000 € - 12.000 €
Description:Tibet, 18th/ early 19th ct.
75 x 64 cm R.
Rare initiation thangka with four mandalas dedicated to different emanations of the Yidam Cakrasamvara. Cakrasamvara belongs to the Mother Tantras (Annutarayoga Tantra), where attachment is seen as an obstacle, in contrast to the Father Tantras, where anger is seen as a disturbing factor. The central representations of the main deities in the midst of the magical circles are different in iconographic colours, and have different numbers of arms. All four forms of the yidam in these mandalas are depicted in loving union with their wisdom partner - Vajravarahi. The mandalas show three different levels assigned to body, speech and mind, and are separated from each other by concentric circles. The eight segments, separated by axes, point to the four cardinal directions and the intermediate directions. This gives the magic circles a cosmic dimension, which is further emphasised by the blue-coloured celestial space. Usually, the outer ramparts surrounding the mandala palaces are each surrounded by another circle, representing the eight famous places of the dead. In this painting, the scenes of the mortuary grounds are loosely distributed between the mandalas, showing the typical motifs such as: Corpse parts, carrion-eating animals and birds. Two other mortuary symbols, such as the stupa and the tree of life, are positioned vertically between the mandala circles. In the centre, surrounded by clouds, appears the Adibuddha Vajradhara, of blue colour, holding vajra and bell in his hands. At the apex of the image is the "Buddha of Long Life" - Amitayus. At the base appears the Bodhisattva Samantabhadra riding a blue elephant. Two red-capped lamas, and additional lesser deities on different mounts are scattered across the picture plane.
Old East German private collection, collected before 2000
Wear and slightly soiled, traces of age, mounted on cardboard, framed under glass