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Lot 92


Estimated Value:

2.500 € - 3.500 €

Hammer Price:

2.600 €


Bhutan, 18th c.
60 x 40 (118 x 66) cm
This meditation painting depicts important wrathful deities from the Nyingma tradition of Tibet. These nine herukas come from the Dzogchen teachings that go back to Padmasambbava. "Dzogchen means understanding the original state of the individual, the unconditioned nature of mind through one's own direct experience. The nature of the mind is beyond the specific contents of the mind, the thoughts and feelings that arise in the mind and reflect one's psychological, cultural and social conditioning." (Namkhai Norbu) "The image of the chem chok impressively demonstrates to the meditator that at every moment of his existence he is interwoven into all the suffering in ignorance, passion and hatred of the earthly world of appearance, but that it is futile effort to try to cut these weaving threads of life. With correct realization, the iron fetters fade away and become dreamed cobwebs, which it is not worthwhile to shake off, because the reason is an unborn nameless freedom of the spirit, which can never be guessed at: This is the wisdom emerging in itself, which makes everything appear on itself". (Eva Neumaier, Munich; A rJogs chen - Tantra). The painting shows Chem chok with his partner in loving union (M), plus eight accompanying herukas, also with their partners in the colors of his mandala. The "act of love" expresses the enlightened transformation of sensual desire through the union of bliss and emptiness. The three-faced head (M: red, r: white, l: blue) wears a fivefold skull-crown each, whose number "five" refers to the wisdoms of the Tathagatas. His active activity is expressed in the weapons he holds in his four hands. The two lower hands embrace the partner and at the same time hold the golden symbols: Bell and Vajra. His upper right hand holds the sword of knowledge. The middle right hand holds a golden vase with water of life, and at the same time a snake wraps his wrist. The upper left hand holds a skull bowl filled with nectar, the middle left hand grasps a (trident?) - spear with head and red yak tail. The male deity wears a tiger skin as loincloth and the female a leopard skin. Two long chains of entrails with threaded dried skulls, and freshly cut off heads, hang down from his neck. With four legs, he stands on hinder spirits, with his partner having one leg wrapped around his waist, and her other leg placed on a hinder spirit next to his. The deity couple stands together on a sun disk above a lotus. All the other herukas have different colors, are similarly designed, and yet carry different weapons, and one of the herukas wears a green horse's head in his hair. He can be identified with the red Hayagriva. At the upper edge of the picture, according to the Trikaya teachings, Amitabha (M), Shadakshari (l) and Padmasambhava (r) appear. In the two corners on the left and on the right scholars of the Drukpa school are to be recognized. Tempera and gold on cotton fabric, original silk satin mounting, with woven long life symbols.
Important German private collection, collected in the 1970s and 80s, mostly acquired at Schoettle Ostasiatica, Stuttgart.
Wear, minor damages due to age

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