Dharmapala Thangka CentreSchool of Thangka Painting

2.11 Green Tara [2]

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In distinct steps, this Thangka guides the observing meditator toward sunyata, a state of meditative emptiness.

  1. First, the meditator imagines offerings he intends to present to the goddess Tara. Offerings are shown at the bottom of the painting in the form of jewels.
  2. The meditator then beseeches the goddess to reveal herself. In the center of the black grounded painting, Tara appears among a halo of rays and turns toward the viewer.
  3. The meditator imagines himself offering to Tara a jewel vase that contains his prayers and precious offerings. The vase is shown below the halo in which Tara dwells. It appears from an assemblage of wishing jewels. At the top of the vase, a wheel of the dharma generates coloured rays of light that merge with the goddess. A symbol of Tara's acceptance of the offerings, the rays of light vanish into the halo.
  4. Taras worship by the meditator visualises gods and goddesses, which worshiped Tara their self too [in order of the meditator]. Below the ray halo you can see Devas and Devis, who also pay homage to Tara with offerings.
  5. The meditator's aim is a contemplative union with Tara. Doing this he realises her as the absolute voidness [Sunyata]. The green of her body transforms to absolute darkness behind the emerged light rays.
  6. The meditator realizes in deep contemplation [samadhi] the real nature of his vision, the Transcendent Buddha of the West. This cognition confirms the genuineness of the meditator's vision, without which karmic liberation is not possible. Amitabha is depicted on top of Taras aura in the center of the upper edge of the painting. He is flanked by Devas and Devis.
  7. By way of thanks, Tara accepts from the meditator a wheel of Teaching, a Dharmachakra, depicted on the top of the vase below the Tara aura. Herewith he expresses that he worships her as a teacher of the Dharma.

The Thangka shows simultaneously the above explained steps of meditation, which moves on to another during the process. G.W. Essen und Tsering Tashi Thinga introduces the original of this Thangka in her German book "Die Götter des Himalaya - [Prestel Verlag, Munich 1989]. This Thangka is from East Tibet and was created appr. 1740. They point out, that according to testimony of the deceased XVI. Gyalwa Karmapa, it was painted by des Situ Chökyi Djungne [1700 - 1774].

He was the eight abbot of the Palpung monastery in Derge [East Tibet]. He was known as the great master of the Karma Gardi [kar-ma-sgar-bris] school, which developed in the late 16th century and is said to have flourished in the 17th and 18th century. The Karma Gadri style of painting is known from written sources as a major Tibetan artistic style and associated with the Karmapa branch of the Kagyu Order. Most of the major artist working in this style, noted for its "distinctive coulors and shading," were Karma Kagyupas in Kham and Amdo.

Measurements: 9.4 x 15" | 24.0 x 38.0 cm
Price: on request
Shipment: Parcel Service from Germany or Nepal
Color: Black Background
Material: Natural Stonecolors