Dharmapala Thangka CentreSchool of Thangka Painting

4.40 Samantabhadra [4]

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In the tantric traditions of Buddhism, such as the Nyingma and Kagyu schools, Samantabhadra is considered not only a bodhisattva, but additionally an adibuddha.

In the Tibetan Book of the Dead, he is described as the Buddha who appears to the deceased during their journey through the intermediate realm to free them from their remaining karmic bonds and remind them of their original origin and destiny.

Samantabhadra [Tibetan: Guntu Sangpo or Kun tu bzang po, Chinese: "P'u-hsien, Japanese "Fugen"] is the primordial Buddha associated with compassion and is known as a protector of the sutra. He is the antecedent of all and the expanse of reality. He holds sway over existence and quiescence in their entirety. He is naked and blue in color, and is most often pictured embracing his white consort Samantrabhhadri [Tibetan: "Kun tu bzang mo"]. They are another emanation of Adibuddha, the ever-present potential for Buddhahood, that has always been and always be.

The word Samanta means, "universally extending." Bhadra means "great virtue." The word samantabhadra means as Universal Virtue and Universal Worthy. This bodhisattvas usually rides on a six-tusked white elephant. The six tusks represent overcoming attachment to the six senses. They also represent the Six Perfection's [paramitas]- charity, morality, patience, diligence, contemplation, and wisdom - or the six ways in which the bodhisattvas pursue their spiritual cultivation so that they may attain enlightenment and save other living creatures. Those who frequently worship Bodhisattva Samantabadhra would gradually receive his blessing and would become energetic and persistent in their practice of the six paramitas.

Like Manjushri, Samantabhadra was an assistant to Sakyamuni Buddha. Historically, there are four famous bodhisattva in the East Asia; each symbolizes the Buddha's emphasis on different aspects of Dharma practices. They are Avalokitesvara's compassion, Manjushri's wisdom, Samantabhadra's practice, and Ksitigarbha's vow. Samantabhadra is also called the Great Conduct Bodhisattva, a name that reflects his practice of Buddhism through his famous Ten Great Vows.

Samantabhadra is a cosmic entity embodying all the bodhisattva practices and merits which must be fulfilled in order to attain Buddhahood. According to the Flower Garland Sutra, bodhisattva practitioners must dedicate all of their efforts to the enlightenment of all sentient beings and sacrifice everything for the welfare of all. In this way, the boundaries of selfhood and the limitation of self-effort are transcended, and one enters into the ocean of merits of all beings, an ocean of merits which is the Samantabhadra's omnipresent body of virtue.

Old original painting
Himalayan Art Resources: Tibet 1600-1699 - Drigung [Kagyu] Linie - 69.85 x 53.34 cm | 27.50 x 21 "
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art, New York, USA

Color Version

Special features of gold background Thangkas

Measurements: 15.4 x 23.2" | 39 x 59 cm
Price: on request
Shipment: Parcel Service from Germany or Nepal
Color: Gold Background Version
Material: Natural Stone Colors