Dharmapala Thangka CentreSchool of Thangka Painting

Large Gau

With three Tsa Tsa windows

These portable shrines are called »Gau«. They are found only in Tibet and neighbouring Buddhist areas. Nothing like them is known in any other Buddhist country. It is not known how old the practice is in Tibet. Most known examples are generally dated to the last two or three centuries, although some may be earlier.

The copper and brass gaus were used to protect their owners from evil in everyday life, especially when travelling.

They were filled with rolled prayers and blessed or sacred objects [seeds, small statues, tsa tsas or tsaglis = small thangkas]. They were worn on a belt or sash over the shoulder or around the waist.

There are also larger thangkas that are not worn on the body. They are found on house altars.

Three small windows adorn the front of this house. Inside there are three small Tsa Tsas [Avalokiteshvara at the top, the Green Tara at the bottom right and the Bodhisattva Manjushri to the left]

A makara is depicted at the bottom edge in the center. The makara is the head of the water element and rules the nagas or snake demons as inhabitants of the lakes and rivers

This gau has an old fabric all around. The eight Tibetan symbols of good fortune are depicted on its front side.

Measurements: 9.1 x 7.5 x 2.4" | 23 x 19 x 6 cm
Price: 162 $ | 150 €
Shipment: Parcel Service from Germany
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