Dharmapala Thangka CentreTibetan Antiques

Milarepa Tsa Tsa [1]

Seal print on back [1]

Full View Sideview  1 Sideview 2 Back Seal imprint with Tibetan letter 'AH'

This ancient Tsa Tsa shows the Tibetan saint Milarepa. To the right and left of him are depicted his pupils Gampopa and Naropa. Above him at top his teacher Marpala is depicted, he shows the gesture of teaching [Vitarka Mudra]. Milarepa sits on a lotus flower rising from a lake, whose flowers almost completely entwine him. He is flanked by his pupils Rechungpa and Gampopa. Remarkable and unusual is that the standing student depicted on the right shows the typical gesture [Hand behind ear] Milarepas with his right hand.

On the lower right there is obviously a wild animal listening to his teaching. At the bottom left, a lama is seen making offerings and worshipping him.

Milarepa [Tibetan: rje btsun mi la ras pa, * 1040 † 1123] was a Tibetan siddha, who was famously known as a murderer when he was a young man, before turning to Buddhism and becoming a highly accomplished Buddhist disciple.

He is generally considered one of Tibet's most famous yogis and spiritual poets, whose teachings are known among several schools of Tibetan Buddhism.

He was a student of Marpa Lotsawa, and a major figure in the history of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. He is also famous for the feat of climbing Mount Kailash.

The reverse shows an unusual circular seal. Due to age, details of the outer rim are unfortunately no longer visible. It may be that this was a circle of lotus petals. In the center, however, the Tibetan mantra letter "Ah" can be clearly identified.

On depictions Milarepa is easy to identify. His right hand is raised to the ear. The meaning of this gesture is explained quite differently. Some authors think that it "represents the posture in which he recites his chants of realization" [Batchelor, 1987, p. 420]. Others say "that it may indicate how he listened to the sounds of nature, or allude to his use of secret oral teachings that were not written down but passed on orally from master to disciple" [Fisher, 1974, p. 26]

The Tsa Tsa is clearly old [late 19thor early 20th cent.]. The high-contrast painting, on the other hand, has only been applied in more recent times.

Milarepa Tsa Tsas are very rare. With the exception of Buddha Shakyamuni, Tsa Tsas with images of historical personages are also hard to find.

Origin: Probably Mongolia

Measurements: 4 x 2.8 x 0.4 " | 10,2 x 7,0 x 1,0 cm
Price: 224 $ | 195 €
Shipment: Parcel Service from Germany
Material: Burned Clay
Download: High resolution [1.3 MB, 2241 x 3281 px.]
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