This hand painted Mandala Thangka is a fine example of a meditation mandala. A Mandala is a device of meditation and serves to help focus the mind as one gazes at it. It is a Yantra that visually aids a transcendental spiritual journey towards perfection. Starting from the outer circles, one should proceed towards the center. The various levels and activities in the painting help to reflect on diverse aspects of consciousness ultimately arriving at the serene center of Being. Right at the center rests the Buddha in Abhay Mudra (gesture of protection and fearlessness), surrounded by Bodhisattvas and other religious symbols and icons pertinent to Buddhism.
This mandala is presided by the Buddha in his Abhay Mudra, therefore, at the core of this spiritual journey - one gains confidence and wins over all kinds of inhibitions. Along with its spiritual significance, this Buddha Mandala thangka painting is exquisite in beauty and color.
About Thangka Paintings
Thangka or scroll paintings are sacred artifacts used as physical support in Tibetan Buddhist practices. In Tibetan the word 'than' means flat and the suffix 'ka' stands for painting.
The Thangka is thus a kind of painting done on flat surface but which can be rolled up when not required for display. It is either painted or embroidered and is generally hung in monasteries or a family altar and carried by lamas in ceremonial processions. The pictorial subjects of thangkas include portraits of Buddhas, stories
from the lives of saints and great masters. The material most commonly used for thangkas is linen cloth or cotton fabric whereas silk cloth is reserved for important subjects. Before the ritual of thangka painting begins, the material is stitched along the edges with flax thread and stretched on a specially made wooden frame. Then a paste made of animal glue mixed with talcum powder is spread over its surface to block up the holes in it. When the paste is scraped off and the cloth gets thoroughly dried, the material is ready for painting. To begin, the artist works out the sketches of the images with charcoal sticks. The drawing usually begins with the figure in the center and then goes to the surrounding deities or landscape.