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Entries for month: January 2011

Mahachakra Vajrapani - Textile

January 31, 2011 ·

Mahachakra Vajrapani is a Tantric form of the bodhisattva Vajrapani - appearing as a meditational deity - regarded as completely enlightened. Just as there are many forms of Vajrapani, so also are there many varieties of Mahachakra both with consort and without.

This textile composition of Vajrapani executed in a Chinese embroidery technique is regarded as one of the best examples of its type found in any collection worldwide. Observed closely, small beads of red coral and white pearls have been added as real ornaments and decorations. They can especially be seen decorating the hair of Mahachakra Vajrapani. Throughout the textile composition the thick gold threads are actually hair, often horse hair, wrapped with gold wire.

Tags: art · iconography

Wangchug Dorje Portrait by Choying Dorje

January 27, 2011 ·

Choying Dorje (1604-1674), the 10th Karmapa, was a prolific artist that created both paintings and sculpture in a unique style. There are approximately 100 paintings and 60 sculpture recorded in the biographical literature. Aside from those recorded objects there are also a number of sculpture claiming to be the work of Choying Dorje either through inscription or style. The depiction below of the 9th Karmapa Wangchug Dorje does not so far appear in any of the lists of Choying Dorje's known works but bears an inscription and the stylistic appearance of a Choying Dorje sculpture.

Tags: art

Four Transcendent Lords Painting Sets

January 09, 2011 ·

An outline page listing the painting sets for the Four Transcendent Lords has been added along with related book covers and sculpture.

Tags: painting · art · outlines

Vajra Nairatmya Outline Page

January 09, 2011 ·

A Vajra Nairatmya Outline Page has been added. As a principle Tantric meditational deity she is most commonly known as the consort of the deity Shri Hevajra. However, like Vajrayogini of the Chakrasamvara cycle of Tantras, Nairatmya has several independent practices and mandalas originating in Tibet with the Sakya, Kagyu and Shangpa traditions.

Tags: iconography · outlines

Shri Devi Main Page - Updated

January 03, 2011 ·

The Shri Devi Main Page has been updated, the organization improved, more links and more navigation choices.

Shri Devi is a category of Tantric Buddhist deity. Her primary function is a Protector (Dharmapala) and specifically the primary female Wisdom Protector of Himalayan and Tibetan Buddhism. There are dozens of different variations and forms of Shri Devi. She is typically in wrathful appearance following the Indian model of a Rakshasi demon. In most occurrences and uses of Shri Devi, but not all, she is paired with a specific form of Mahakala. Aside from the individual Anuttarayoga Tantras that teach various forms of Shri Devi, the principal texts are the Twenty-five and Fifty Chapter Mahakala Tantras. The textual source for Magzor Gyalmo is the Dakinyagnijihajvala Tantra, Dege Kanjur, volume 98, pp.223-253. It is found in the Nyingma Tantra section, vol.3. TBRC w22084.

Shri Devi is not one entity or personality. Depending on the form of Shri Devi she could be a wrathful emanation of a number of different deities such as Sarasvati - the peacful form of Shri Devi Magzor Gyalmo. Some forms of Shri Devi such as with four arms - Dudusolma - are the wrathful form of Shri Lakshmi (Pal Lhamo).

Tags: iconography · updates · art

Mahakala Main Page - Updated

January 03, 2011 ·

The Mahakala Main Page has been updated and the organization improved with more links and more navigation choices.

Mahakala is a category of Tantric Buddhist deity. His primary function is as a protector (Dharmapala) and specifically the primary Wisdom Protector of Himalayan and Tibetan Buddhism. There are dozens of different variations and forms of Mahakala. He is typically in wrathful appearance following the Indian model of a Raksha demon. In most occurrences and uses of Mahakala, he is paired with a meditational deity such as Panjarnata Mahakala and Shri Hevajra, Chaturbhuja Mahakala and Chakrasamvara, Chaturmukha Mahakala and Guhyasamaja. In most cases Mahakala is an emanation, or wrathful aspect, of the principal meditational deity that he is associated with. For instance Panjarnata Mahakala is the most wrathful emanation, or form, of Hevajra. In other situations Mahakala might be a wrathful emanation of Vajradhara or Akshobhya Buddha. Aside from the individual Anuttarayoga Tantras that teach various forms of Mahakala, the principal texts are the Twenty-five and Fifty Chapter Mahakala Tantras.

In one specific case, Shadbhuja Mahakala, Avalokiteshvara takes on the form of Mahakala. Therefore, it can be said that the Shadbhuja form, with one face and six hands, arising from the Eight Chapter Mahakala Tantra, is a wrathful Avalokiteshvara.

Types of Mahakala:
1. Bernagchen (Black Cloak)
2. Brahmarupa (Bramhmin Form)
3. Chaturbhuja (Four-hands)
4. Chaturmukha (Four-faces)
5. Danda (Stick)
6. Kakamukha (Raven-faced)
7. Kartaridhara (Knife Holder)
8. Legden (Excellent One)
9. Maning (Genderless)
10. Panjarnata (Two-hands)
11. Raudrantika (Killer of Rudra)
12. Shadbhuja (Six-hands)
13. Shanglon (Minister, from the Yutog Nyingtig)
14. Vyaghra-vahana (Riding a Tiger)
15. Others....

Tags: updates · art · Mahakala

Buddhist Protector Glossary - Added

January 02, 2011 ·

A new glossary briefly describing and linking the main Buddhist Protectors has been added to the site. The Buddhist Protectors Outline Page has been updated.

Links:

Protectors Glossary

Buddhist Protectors Outline Page

Tags: iconography · outlines · Glossary

Number Sets: New Outline Page, Updated & Additions

January 01, 2011 ·

The Number Sets Page has been expanded with additions and a new Number Sets Outline Page. Numerous additional sub pages have been added along with cataloguing into Traditions and various prominant subjects.

Links:

Number Sets Main Page

Number Sets Outline Page

Tags: outlines · iconography · Number Sets