A MANDALA OF THE TATHAGATA AKSHOBYA
600 € - 1.000 €
Description:Tibet, 18th c.
66,5 x 44,3 cm
The mandala in its complex symbolism can be seen as the ideal abode of the deity to whom this mandala is dedicated. The basic element is the all-encompassing circle, without beginning and without end. It symbolises the cosmos, which encloses the earth, which is symbolised by the square. But the square also means, in its form as a temple or palace, a protective sphere that keeps everything disturbing away from the consecrated sacrum, a space purified of all obstacles and stains of the spirit. The blue-coloured Tathagata Akshobhya conveys the "mirror-like wisdom" in which all appearances fade into empty mirages and consciousness comes to complete rest. His left hand holds the diamond sceptre (Skr. vajra) erect. Our mind, our awareness, is compared to the vajra because this awareness can cut through, split and dissolve all illusions, all delusions. The vajra is compared to the diamond, it illustrates the indestructible power and transparency that surpasses everything else. It symbolises the method, or the (tantric) path. Akshobhya is accompanied by eight deities sitting on an eight-petalled lotus. Above the cosmic mandala are deities who give guidance to the initiate and accompany him on his spiritual path. In the middle of the assembly, Vajradhara appears. Although Vajradhara dwells in the non-objective Dharmakaya, he is depicted in celestial robes and adornments of the Sambhogakaya. Thus he shows his ability to continually care for the welfare of beings and their needs. To his right is the blue-coloured Bodhisattva of Strength - Vajrapani. He gives strength and endurance. This strength is further enhanced by the presence of Nilambara Vajrapani, with his partner. A caring feminine component is brought by White Tara - in the right corner of the mandala. She has the power to prolong life to make the goal attainable. Three high scholars of the Nyingma school, from which this initiation picture originates, appear between the deities. Below the mandala, two deities appear in the two lower corners to remove obstacles on the spiritual path. On the left is the male four-armed protector Caturbhuja Mahakala, and opposite him his female counterpart Palden Lhamo riding a mule. Caturbhuja Mahakala is inseparable from the Cakrasamvara Tantra, whose manifestation is in the middle, between the two protectors, in loving union - symbolising wisdom and compassion. Tempera and gold on cotton fabric, abrasions and soiling; unframed.
Important southern German private collection, acquired at Schoettle Ostasiatica before 2000
Wear, age damages