Dharmapala Thangka CentreTibetan Antiques


10th - 12th century !

Comparison with a nearly completely preserved Amoghapasha Tsa Tsa

S o l d

Amoghapasha, translation "non-missing noose", is a special four armed manifestation of the Avalokiteshvara of mostly white or yellow body color. Analogous to the Avalokiteshvara's hand helpfully extending toward living beings, he holds in his upper left hand, as his most significant attribute, a noose [Skt. pasha] with which he is able to save living beings threatening to sink into the sufferings of the Saṃsāra.

With his lower left hand, he holds a lotus here. The right held in front of the chest holds the prayer cord with the gesture of argument. The upper right holds here still a branch. Later images often depict a trident here.

The second image shows a completely preserved Amoghapasha Tsa Tsa, where you can clearly see the parts missing from the tsa tsa published here.

Amoghapasha Lokeshvara is an alternative epithet of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, who has numerous emanations in the Vajrayana pantheon. In one of these he is known as Amoghapasa, or the One with the Unfailing Noose.

The noose therefore is an invariable attribute of this form of the bodhisattva and is usually held by the third hand on the left [from the top]. The other emblems or gestures are [clock-wise from upper left]: a book, a lotus, a water pot, the teaching gesture [against the chest], the gesture of charity, the three-pronged staff [tridandi], and the gesture of adoration.

Amoghapasha is a complicated deity subject in Tantric Buddhist iconography. He is easily mistaken for Avalokiteshvara in most artistic depictions. The two deities are frequently conflated together by scholars. Sometimes Amoghapasha is described as a form, or emanation, of Avalokiteshvara and again at other times a retinue figure when Avalokiteshvara is the central deity in the mandala.

Buddhism arrived in the Tibetan highlands from northern India in the 7th century at the earliest, and some even believe in the 8th century. The Tibetan kings Songtsen Gampo ruled in the 7th century and Tisong Detsen in the 8th century, but this development was slow at first. It took three centuries before King Trisong Detsen elevated Buddhism to the state religion of Tibet in the 8th c.

The foundations of this representation lie in India and correspond to a Buddhist tradition. The writing, which is barely legible, is Indian; some Tibetan characters can also be seen.

The tsa-tsa shows the iconography of Indian art of the 10-12th centuries and probably originated in Guge [West Tibet]. This explains the Indian characters in the presumed date of origin of this object.

In the 9th century, Buddhism disappeared from Tibet for 150 years. So the characters on these tsa-Tsa have nothing to do with the Tibetan kings as they ruled before. In the course of the new Buddhist conversion by Atisha [* 980 - † 1054], Tibetan characters were also put on tsa-tsas. At this time, however, there were still Indian influences in Tibet, the Indian characters in the presumed period of origin of this object.

They went back however starting from the 11th. Continuously which also led to the fact that Indian writings were displaced in favor of pure Tibetan writings.

This Tsa Tsa was consecrated. Details ...

Age & Origin:11th - 12th cent. - Guge - Western Tibet

Comparisation: Source of Photo: Xiong & Li 2016: S. 114 [Abb. 52] XIONG, Wenbin & LI, Yizhi [eds. 2016]: 西藏文化博物馆丛书 [Xi zang wen hua bo wu guan cong shu]. Art of Tsa Tsa from Guge, Tibet. [Text in Chinesisch, Wiping Art Museum of Tibetan Culture Series, vol. 6]

Measurements: 9.2 × 6.4 × 0.9" | 2.4 cm
Shipment: Parcel Service from Germany
Material: Burned Clay