Please help me to identify who is in this Thangka

Discuss and learn about the traditional Mahayana scriptures, without assuming that any one school ‘owns’ the only correct interpretation.
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Devidasi
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Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2015 5:09 pm

Please help me to identify who is in this Thangka

Post by Devidasi » Thu Aug 20, 2015 5:44 pm

I was given a beautiful thangka as a gift and it doesn't have any meaning to me yet. Perhaps its not the right place to post, but I heard you are the people to ask!
Please tell me:
Who is the figure? I assume it is a form of Buddha, but which one particularly?
Do you know its origin - Tibet? Nepal?
Can you tell anything else about it?
Thank you!
I realize I do not know how to attach a photo on a blog - please help!

Arnoud
Posts: 681
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:19 pm

Re: Please help me to identify who is in this Thangka

Post by Arnoud » Thu Aug 20, 2015 6:18 pm

Devidasi wrote:I was given a beautiful thangka as a gift and it doesn't have any meaning to me yet. Perhaps its not the right place to post, but I heard you are the people to ask!
Please tell me:
Who is the figure? I assume it is a form of Buddha, but which one particularly?
Do you know its origin - Tibet? Nepal?
Can you tell anything else about it?
Thank you!
I realize I do not know how to attach a photo on a blog - please help!
We would need a pic.

Right-click on pic.
Select copy pic location
Paste in answer window on dharmawheel
Highlight again and click IMG button above window.
I think.

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conebeckham
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Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: Please help me to identify who is in this Thangka

Post by conebeckham » Thu Aug 20, 2015 6:20 pm

Just copy the location of the image, by right clicking on it and choosing "copy image location" or whatever it is...then you can paste the URL using the Img button.

Or, you can save the picture to your desktop and then add it as an attachment by using "upload attachment" function which is down below the text box, when you're posting.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

Devidasi
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2015 5:09 pm

Re: Please help me to identify who is in this Thangka

Post by Devidasi » Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:15 pm

Thank you for your advice! I have just uploaded it on flickr...

click this link to see

https://www.flickr.com/photos/90847946@N03/?

THANKS!


Bakmoon
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Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 12:31 am

Re: Please help me to identify who is in this Thangka

Post by Bakmoon » Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:19 pm

I'm not entirely certain, but I think the white Buddha with four faces and the wheel is the Buddha Vairocana, the red Buddha is Amitabha, and the blue one is Akshobhya. The white one is the one I am least certain about because I've never scene an image of him like that, but I've read in one place that he is sometimes depicted with four faces and a wheel.

Arnoud
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Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:19 pm

Re: Please help me to identify who is in this Thangka

Post by Arnoud » Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:27 pm

Nice colors! No help otherwise on the white one.

Devidasi
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Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2015 5:09 pm

Re: Please help me to identify who is in this Thangka

Post by Devidasi » Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:40 pm

Bakmoon wrote:I'm not entirely certain, but I think the white Buddha with four faces and the wheel is the Buddha Vairocana, the red Buddha is Amitabha, and the blue one is Akshobhya. The white one is the one I am least certain about because I've never scene an image of him like that, but I've read in one place that he is sometimes depicted with four faces and a wheel.
Thanks guys for your help! Yeah I have being researching and cannot find anything with a four-faced Buddha. Do you know what particular healing these Buddha's have?

Devidasi
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Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2015 5:09 pm

Re: Please help me to identify who is in this Thangka

Post by Devidasi » Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:43 pm

And yes, you are right about Vairocana - I found the exact painting here: http://www.fodian.net/world/vairocana/4 ... ana_4f.jpg (obviously a better photo!)...

Although I thought this was strange to find the exact same one... i thought each tangka design was unique?

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conebeckham
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Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: Please help me to identify who is in this Thangka

Post by conebeckham » Thu Aug 20, 2015 8:08 pm

That is Kunrig NamParNangDzay, in Tibetan, or Sarvavid Vairochana.

This is a special form of Buddha Vairochana, from the Yoga Tantra class of practice. Amitabha and Akshobya are below.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

jmlee369
Posts: 441
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:22 am

Re: Please help me to identify who is in this Thangka

Post by jmlee369 » Fri Aug 21, 2015 1:35 am

It is indeed Sarvavid Vairocana, a common form of Vairocana in Tibetan Buddhism due to the popularity of that Yoga tantra practice in Tibet (Kunrig in Tibetan). For further confirmation, you can check out the Himalayan Art website: http://www.himalayanart.org/items/90176.

Just a correction though, the blue Buddha is not Akshobhya but actually Medicine Buddha. You can tell this by the medicinal myrobalan fruit that is held in the blue Buddha's right hand.

You're right to think that each thangka design is usually unique. What you have is not a painted thankga, but a printed reproduction of the original. This is fairly common practice it seems, since printed reproductions are much more affordable. Painted thangkas will cost at least a couple of hundred dollars, so reproductions are often a good substitute for practitioners who cannot afford them.

The practice of Sarvavid Vairocana is rather complicated and esoteric, not particularly accessible to non-initiates. However, the famous function of that particular form of Vairocana practice is to liberate beings from the three lower realms, i.e. the practice will prevent or liberate a person reborn as a hell being, hungry ghost, or animal. From the teachings of Lama Zopa Rinpoche:
Kunrig is not a Highest Yoga Tantra deity; I think it belongs to either Yoga Tantra or Charya Tantra class. Kunrig is known as “the King of the Deities for purifying the lower realms.” Even if someone has already been born in the lower realms, if you do Kunrig practice or puja, they will be liberated from the lower realms. There is a story that when a deva died and was reborn in one of the hell realms, King Indra didn’t know what to do, so he asked Buddha for help. Buddha then manifested as this deity Kunrig and granted the practice of the Kunrig jang-wa. The deva was then liberated from the lower realms.

source

and also
Kunrig:
OM NAMO BHAGAVATE / SARVA DURGATE PARI SHODHANI RAJAYA / TATHAGATAYA / ARHATE SAMYAKSAM BUDDHAYA / TADYATHA / OM SHODHANI SHODHANI / SARVA PAPAM VISHODHANI / SHUDHE VISHUDHE / SARVA KARMA AVARANA VISHODHANI SVAHA

By merely seeing the Kunrig mantra—no need to mention actually saying it—one purifies the very heavy negative karma of avoiding the holy Dharma.

Avoiding the Dharma is more heavy than destroying all the statues, stupas, scriptures, and temples in this world; heavier than that. This means you think that Buddha’s teaching is not for you, from your heart you give it up; you give up from your heart the object of devotion.

Perhaps you feel that some things are very difficult, such as studying Buddhist philosophy; it’s difficult for you to understand. You think, “What use is this in my life?” Whenever this happens, that is giving up Dharma. These are Buddha’s teachings, so the karma is unbelievably heavy.
source

It has also become trendy in modern times to set mantras to music, although the pronunciation is not always the best. An example of the Kunrig mantra is here.

As for Amitabha Buddha, he is (on one level) the main teacher in the western Buddhafield called Sukhavati, the Land of Great Bliss (Dewachen in Tibetan), a place that many Mahayana Buddhists aspire to be reborn in so they can complete the path to Buddhahood as quickly as possible utilising the ideal environment that was created by Amitabha Buddha's vows. His practice is therefore often associated with the end of life. The most common form of Amitabaha practice is to recite the Buddha's name (one of the methods by which people can be reborn in Sukhavati), a prevalent practice in East Asia.

Medicine Buddha is, as the name implies, associated with healing of various mental and physical illnesses and sufferings. The Medicine Buddha made 12 specific vows (like Amitabha's 48 vows), several of which relate to alleviating the suffering of sicknesses. Reciting his name and mantra are beneficial for many problems, not just illnesses. The Medicine Buddha also has a Buddhafield, in the east, called Vaiduryaprabha, the Land of Vaidurya Light.

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