Dharmapala Thangka CentreSchool of Thangka Painting

12.3 Sixteen Stage Kadampa Mandala

Kadam Thigle Chudugi Kyilkhor

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This is a very complex, nearly abstract Mandala. It is in sixteen stages in the form of a pyramid, which is shown as viewed from the top. The sixteen steps to the top build up to a Mandala-Palace, in which goddesses and Buddhas resides. The pyramid is surrounded by devas drifting on clouds. As a revealer of the secret knowledge which leads to liberation, the historic Buddha Shakyamuni appears at top center of the painting.

In the mundane world below Green Tara [Syanatara] appears on the left and Acala on the right. At the bottom center in front of the Mandala offerings of the five senses [┬┤dod-yon-lna; Sanskrit: pancakamaguna] are arrayed. These may also be interpreted as allegories of the five senses expressing the veneration of the donator of the painting.

The Mandala shows the meditator how to act so as to symbolically associate with the goddesses and their nature, which are reflections of the human psyche. This process develops in stages until the meditator reaches the highest stage, where the lotus blossom opens. This ideal state of wisdom and knowledge can only be reached by the path of compassion.

This sixteen stage Mandala belongs to the Gelugpa transmission of the Kadamapa order, which was founded by the Indian pandit or master Atisha [982 - 1055], who is depicted in the upper left part of the painting behind an image of a stupa. Atisha made new interpretations of Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhists texts that were brought to Tibet, and summarized them into a systematic set of stages on the path to liberation.

Measurements: 12.2 x 15" | 31 x 38 cm
Price: on request
Shipment: Parcel Service from Germany or Nepal
Color: Color Version
Material: Natural Stone Colors