Dharmapala Thangka CentreTibetan Antiques

Four Armed Bodhisattva Manjushri Tsa Tsa

This Tsa Tsa shows the rare representation of a four-armed Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom

Manjushri is seated in dhyana-asana on a double lotus throne and has four arms. His upper right hand raises a sword, cutting through delusion [skt.: «khadga»]. Opposite is a Holy book representing all wisdom, resting upon a lotus [skt.: «pustaka»] the stem of which he holds in his left hand.

His second left hand shows the Karana Mudra - the gesture of banishment to ward off demons.

In his lower left hand he holds an arrow and in the opposite hand a bow as symbols of the polarities of intuitive wisdom [skt.: «prajna»] in the sense of active compassion [skt.: «Upaya»] in the form of turning to the living beings imprisoned in suffering.

With a high jewelled Crown, he wears the clothes and jewellery of an enlightened Bodhisattva.

Around Manjushri runs an arched band of writing in the Tibetan inscription in U Chen Script: Standing from the bottom left arch upward: «Om a ra pa tsa na dhi [=Mantra of Manjushri]. Na mo ma nju shri ye bo dhi sa tva ye ma nju sa tva ye ma ha ke ru ...»

So the mantra is followed by a Manjushri invocation or a longer Manjushri dharani, the second half of which I am not yet able to decipher. Then follows [starting from below the arch the wellknown Pratityasamutpadagatha.

Pratityasamutpada commonly translated as «dependent origination», or «dependent arising«, is a key doctrine of Buddhist philosophy, which states that all dharmas [«phenomena»] arise in dependence upon other dharmas: «if this exists, that exists; if this ceases to exist, that also ceases to exist».

The principle is expressed in the links of dependent origination in Buddhism, a linear list of twelve elements from the Buddhist teachings which arise depending on the preceding link. Traditionally the list is interpreted as describing the conditional arising of rebirth in samsara, and the resultant dukkha [suffering, pain, unsatisfactoriness]. Traditionally, the reversal of the causal chain is explained as leading to the annihilation of mental formations and rebirth.

The extraordinarily good state of preservation suggests an origin in the 20th century. However, if the Tsa Tsa was not exposed to the weather, an origin in the 19th century cannot be excluded.

Measurements: 2.8 x 2.3 x 0.7 " | 7.0 x 5.8 x 1.9 cm
Price: 149 $ | 125 €
Shipment: Parcel Service from Germany
Material: Burned Clay
Download: High resolution [0.9 MB, 1947 x 2384 px.]
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