Need help identifying a mandala thangka.

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Need help identifying a mandala thangka.

Postby Jangchup Donden » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:04 pm

This was given to me ask a gift and I was wondering if anyone could identify it.

Many thanks in advance. :)
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Re: Need help identifying a mandala thangka.

Postby conebeckham » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:31 pm

well, I can't see the central figure...
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Re: Need help identifying a mandala thangka.

Postby Blue Garuda » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:56 pm

conebeckham wrote:well, I can't see the central figure...


If you delete the 'sidebar' of your browser it becomes visible - on mine anyway.

I recognise the central white figure but hard to tell, and the figures generally have top-knots, which I've not seen before.
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Re: Need help identifying a mandala thangka.

Postby kirtu » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:35 pm

conebeckham wrote:well, I can't see the central figure...


You can right click on the image and then bring it up in a graphics tool.

I've never seen a thangka quite like this but it's a mandala of peaceful deities. It's kind of like a Tara mandala except that the deities are mostly male. The central deity might be a specific Dhyani Buddha.

Or it could be something like Mahasiddhas in Nirmanakaya form?

It's very interesting. I was thinking that the imagery outside the mandala is sort of Kagyu or Chod lineage specific. But the monks a top seem sort of more like some Sakya imagery. I've never seen protectors quite like that but they seem like various kinds of Mahakala.

Actually there are texts that explain mandala imagery.

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Re: Need help identifying a mandala thangka.

Postby Jangchup Donden » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:39 pm

Thanks guys. I was thinking it had something to do with the 5 Buddha families. Any ideas who the protectors are on the bottom?
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Re: Need help identifying a mandala thangka.

Postby conebeckham » Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:18 am

Frankly-
it may not be any specific practice--it may be painted as a "tourist" thangka.

The lower left corner has a Yamantaka protector...center is Palden Lhamo, and the right lower corner appears to be Chagdrupa...so it would likely be a Gelukpa lineage...but again, it may not be iconographically specific to any given practice.
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Re: Need help identifying a mandala thangka.

Postby Jangchup Donden » Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:16 am

conebeckham wrote:Frankly-
it may not be any specific practice--it may be painted as a "tourist" thangka.

The lower left corner has a Yamantaka protector...center is Palden Lhamo, and the right lower corner appears to be Chagdrupa...so it would likely be a Gelukpa lineage...but again, it may not be iconographically specific to any given practice.


That's a distinct possibility too. Thanks for the help. :)
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Re: Need help identifying a mandala thangka.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:43 am

conebeckham wrote:Frankly-
it may not be any specific practice--it may be painted as a "tourist" thangka.

The lower left corner has a Yamantaka protector...center is Palden Lhamo, and the right lower corner appears to be Chagdrupa...so it would likely be a Gelukpa lineage...but again, it may not be iconographically specific to any given practice.
Bottom left is Yamaraja actually, not Yamantaka. The lord of death and king of the hell realms, not the conqueror of death. So actually not a protector, quite the opposite really! :tongue:
yama-3.jpg
yama-3.jpg (158.67 KiB) Viewed 315 times
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Re: Need help identifying a mandala thangka.

Postby Jangchup Donden » Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:33 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
conebeckham wrote:Frankly-
it may not be any specific practice--it may be painted as a "tourist" thangka.

The lower left corner has a Yamantaka protector...center is Palden Lhamo, and the right lower corner appears to be Chagdrupa...so it would likely be a Gelukpa lineage...but again, it may not be iconographically specific to any given practice.
Bottom left is Yamaraja actually, not Yamantaka. The lord of death and king of the hell realms, not the conqueror of death. So actually not a protector, quite the opposite really! :tongue:
yama-3.jpg



Interesting, the plot thickens. :)
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Re: Need help identifying a mandala thangka.

Postby conebeckham » Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:19 pm

Yamaraja is, in fact, a protector relating to the Yamantaka cycle of practices.....
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Re: Need help identifying a mandala thangka.

Postby conebeckham » Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:31 pm

...otherwise known as Kalarupa.

The "Lord of Death" is usually just known as "Yama."
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Re: Need help identifying a mandala thangka.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:18 pm

Hmmmmm....

I concede. My misreading of your post didn't help as I thought you said it was Yamantaka himself. Sorry!
Yama Dharmaraja, also known as Kalarupa (Tib: gshin rje chos rgyal; = the Lord of Death, King of the Law), is one of the Dharma protectors of the father class of Anuttarayoga Tantra, in particular for the Vajrabhairava tantras. Although Kalarupa is found in all the Sarma Schools the Gelugpa tradition holds Yama Dharmaraja in special regard as one of the three main Dharma protectors of the School - along with the Six-Arm (Shadbhuja) Mahakala and Vaishravana. These three were the special protectors of Lama Tsongkapa.

With one face and two hands, dark blue in color, the head is that of a buffalo, three round eyes, sharp horns entwined with flame, fierce and angry. Held upraised in the right hand is a bone stick composed of a fused spine and skull. In the left hand is a coiled lasso. Adorned with a crown of skulls and bone ornaments, he wears a necklace of fifty freshly severed heads. Appearing extremely animate he stands with his right leg bent and the left extended on the back of a buffalo above a human body and lotus seat. He is usually accompanied by his female consort Chamundi who is blue in color, with one face and two hands. A trident is held aloft in the right hand and a skullcup in the left. Both are adorned with wrathful attire, bone ornaments and various skins, completely surrounded by the swirling orange flames of pristine awareness.

There are three forms of Yama Dharmaraja: Outer, Inner, and Secret. Inner and Outer Yamaraja are blue/black, the Secret Yamaraja is red in color
From here http://www.yamantaka.org/imagery/dharma ... araja.html
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Re: Need help identifying a mandala thangka.

Postby conebeckham » Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:25 pm

No sweat, Greg. Thanks for that Yamantaka site link, too! Very cool.
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