Discussion of the fifth religious tradition of Tibet.
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Does anyone here know the name of the deity that is embroidered on the back of Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche's chair at Serenity Ridge (see image below)?
That doesn't look like a deity to me, more like a Taoist immortal or some other kind of Chinese sage.
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche
The Six Symbols of Longevity (Tsering Nam Tuk)
The image of the Six Symbols of Longevity are of Chinese origin but appears often in Tibetan secular art. The old man of long life is Shou-lao, the ancient Chinese God of Longevity. As Buddhism became prominent – the old man came to represent the contemplative sage who manifests the qualities of Amitayus –Vajrayana Buddhism’s deity of Longevity. The sage holds a crystal rosary symbolizing continuity and purity.
The tree of longevity under which the old man sits is the divine peach tree imbued with many medicinal qualities.
The conch-shell-shaped immutable rock of longevity has beneficial geomantic properties. The stream of longevity springs forth from the rock. It’s pure water is the Nectar of Immortality which is contained in the vase held by Amitayus.
The cranes, believed to live long lives, are ancient Chinese longevity symbols. A pair of cranes symbolize happiness and fidelity.
It is said that deer are the only creatures capable of locating the plant of immortality. In this drawing the sage feeds a piece of the plant of immortality to the deer at his feet.